Saturday, 31 December 2011

Laurel and Neil Moose Hunt

Well, even though I couldn't find her brother a moose, Laurel selected a Moose search has her "track" on Friday morning. We were a way from the house a little late and had other interruptions that impacted our "prime time" searching, but we ended up doing okay.  A tough order we left at 7:36 a.m., and they wanted to be downtown Calgary by 11:00. That didn't leave much time for "looking". We spotted these deer and were very pleased that they decided to perform a little fence jumping for us:

Then, right at the end of our trail I managed to spot a moose for her, so the trip was a success. We were only a mile from the main highway when I found this cow, in one of my "go to" spots!
So a good successful trip, when you throw in the Roughies, and the mature Bald Eagle we were able to scrounge up, and I dropped them of at 6th Avenue and 2nd Street SW @ 11:05!


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Moose hunt with James

James requested a Moose hunt while he was visiting, but with the windy conditions I was unable to deliver. We managed to find: 14 whitetails, a Prairie Falcon, a pair of Sharptails, and several Rough Legged. For the most part it was a bright morning, but you could not see the mountains for clouds and snow fall. Most of the Roughies we found were actually on the ground, I am assuming to avoid the wind.
This fella provided a challenge to get a shot due to his location, but I did manage an acceptable "capture".
Laurel is still in town, and is making up her mind what she would like to go after, and whether it will be a morning or evening outing.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Snowy Owls (20111226) Boxing Day

Well, on the third anniversary of receiving a DSLR, I thought that I would mark the day with a field trip (James and the girls were going shopping anyway).  It was to be a beautiful sunny day and for once the weatherman didn't lie. I took a shot on my mid-southern "track" this morning, and was disappointed that there were no GHO's out and about.  I started the day with a Rough Legged, he was perched on a line as opposed to a pole, so I thought it might be an owl in the low light.
Covering some new country, I managed to get a couple of long distance shots of my first Northern Goshawk, so the day was starting right!  A few miles down the road, I managed my first Snowy of the day, but she was very spooky.  I was quite a distance from her when she left her roost and settled into an open field. So I had the opportunity to see my first "on the ground bird". She was quite a distance away, so the photos are not really good.  About 10 minutes later, I found this sweet heart, and she was very accommodating!

Not a bad day over all. I was home by 11:00, with the truck re-fuelled and ready for next "run".
All the best over the holiday season to everyone!


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Mountain Sheep

Russell and I were out looking for elk yesterday to no avail.  We did manage to find some whitetails, a pair of moose, an early morning owl, and these Mountain sheep.  While we counted 29, in reviewing the photos I believe we may have missed one or two.
There were several rams that look like they will be fully mature in the next year or two.  This next shot reminds me of Kids before Christmas, checking to see if there are any presents under the tree yet!
We also managed to find several Rough Legged's and a Prairie Falcon. The Falcon was in the same spot I saw one a little over a year ago. As we were driving by the area, I said to Russell " here is where I saw a Prairie Falcon a year ago, 53 or 54 weeks ago", then, here was one hovering in the wind. Will have to watch that area at this time of year for more repeats. 
I am still struggling with my camera gear, so please remain patience regarding the quality of photos.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

ASCCA on a Sunday morning.

Mike and I hit the ASCCA at daybreak. It was snowing, wet heavy sticky snow, but not too hard. Through the first fence we found a Muley buck with a dozen doe. a little further in the lower Fescue trail we spotted a couple more Muley doe on Ranchers Ridge. Nearing the top of the climb out of the valley we ran into our first herd of cattle, they must be allowing a rancher to overwinter their herd there as this is the first time I have found cattle on the property. Climbing higher, to overlook the Pine Creek we spotted our second collection of cows. It is from this vantage point this spring that Mike and I watched a full grown cougar for 15 minutes. We travelled back along the higher Fescue trail and met up with our third grouping of cattle. A couple of ravens overhead, and not much else until this point. We swung west down onto Aspen.  There was no sign of cattle on that trail at all, but other than ravens, all we found was one small woodpecker. Back in the truck and home by 11:00.  A nice walk but too uneventful for our liking!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Prairie Falcon- House Sparrow (20111216)

Another pretty dismal day out on the Owl hunt. Zero owls today, but while I was stopped waiting for a train to pass (that can take quite a while out west here), I spied this Prairie Falcon. He was a long way off, but I think that should be happy I was able to find him at all in the sky:-)
Then I happened upon a couple hundred of these little sparrows.  Shooting through twigs and branches is always very difficult, but I think I nailed this little fellow.
No plans right now for tomorrow, but Mike and I are headed out to the ASCCA on Sunday at daybreak.

Northern Flicker Blackbilled Magpie (20111216) New Country for Snowy's

On Wednesday I headed out to a new spot that is supposed to be great for Snowy action. It was a bust, 4 hours later, one of my slowest days on record; one Muley buck, one Coyote, two birds of prey that I assume were Sharp Shinned hawks. Then yesterday, I walked over to get a Christmas turkey at the local Co-op and on the way home found two flickers a couple of Magpies.  So I grabbed my camera, headed out to the back lane to see if I could find them:-)
Thanks for taking the time to look.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sharp Tailed Grouse

It is my wife's, Uncle's birthday today, got that?
He and I have frequented the woods on many occasions. It had been years since he had seen a Mountain Bluebird, or so he told me a couple of summers back, so I took him out to Bluebird country and reminded him what he had been missing for 15 years.  Today it was another 15 (or so) year drought addressed as we managed to find 8 Sharp Tailed Grouse. These added to our 1 GHO, 7 moose, 1 Coyote, a multitude of deer and many Rough Legged hawks of the morning.
Here is a shot of a Sharp Tail, although I am totally happy with the photo:

He and I will be taking a tour out for Snowy's one day this week!
Happy Birthday Middy!


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Snowy Owl (20111210) Full moon eclipse.

Here is a shot of this morning's eclipse. I don't have the right equipment for these types of shots, but I thought I would share this with you.  Last night was a full moon and this morning, an eclipse.  This is taken just as the eclipse is about to be full, I didn't have enough light for any "total Eclipse" shots.
The morning drive today netted me 2 Great Horns, one new and the second was a repeat bird. Before the end of the morning I managed to spot this lady here"

Hope you like the shots!


Whitetail Deer Coyote (20111210) Returned Camera and Lens.

Getting my camera back this week has been terrific, it was in the Shop and Nikon replaced my 70-300 telephoto with a new unit. So I have been anxious to get out.  Friday morning was pretty dry however; no Great Horns and one flying Snowy. Pretty disappointing! I did manage to find this Coyote and deer pair that seemed to be quite close, and they stopped long enough for me to get a shot. It seemed like an odd pairing and neither was too concerned with the other.