Sunday, 29 January 2012

Barrow's Goldeneye, Northern Saw Whet Owl

Our walk leader yesterday, (Gus Yaki, a highly respected birder here in Canada) was a little disappointed that I didn't manage a shot of the male Barrow's Goldeneye that was spotted. So today I made certain that I got the shot.
Then we also managed to find our latest celebrity back on his "perch" when we came through.  I have to tell you that I was a little perturbed at the behaviour of some of the Photog's there. They were shooting large lenses with tripods, and it appeared as if they were just compelled to move a little closer than the "other guy". With gear like that there is no need to crowd this little fellow. Learn to crop boys (and girls)!!!!
We found the usual cast of characters down at Carburn Park; 1000's of geese and Mallards, Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, Whitebreasted Nuthatch, some whitetailed deer, Northern flickers, Redpolls, and one very mangy coyote. His tail and much of his haunches were hairless and there were visable sores on his flanks. We finished the day off with a depleted group and a mystery bird, which I have to disperse photo's of to see if it can be identified.  Have a GREAT week.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Northern Saw Whet Owl

Well, it was a great excursion out at Carburn Park this morning. The main attraction was a Northern Saw Whet Owl, they are very small:)
If you didn't know exactly what tro look for you would miss them for certain.  This unit is under the large fallen branch. It was very calm with 20 people milling about! Here is a better shot of what they actually look like:
The morning walk included several Downy woodpeckers, 1000's of waterfowl highlighted by Barrow's Golden eye's, redpolls, chickadee's, 11 deer, many many squirrels and crows, with 5 bald eagles to add to the list. I then went over to Fish creek to try and shoot the GHO's but the light was poor again today. I will be heading back out for my regularly schedule Sunday walk tomorrow, at the same place as today. I wanted to maximize my opportunities to find this uncommon visitor. Have a GREAT day!


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Rough Legged Hawk Jeannette's first outing

Jeannette picked up a new camera and was interested in seeing some larger critters, to capture. We met at a Starbucks in the Southend of Calgary shortly after 8:00 this morning--an hour later than I would have liked to headed out, but I had "chores". Whitetails were plentiful today as we managed to find 40-50 of them throughout the day. Many of them were at a distance, but a couple up close.  We also we lucky enough to spot 7 sheep (a long way off), and while reviewing the photo's just now, I managed to find 4 more for a total of 11--all rams. I managed to eke out one moose, which was browsing at about 70 yards, but no shots worth posting. I was surprised by the number of Rough Legged's still around as we probably saw 15 in total.  This was probably my best "shot" of the day.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Northern Flicker Carburn Park

Somehow I was confused, and there is no regularly scheduled Wednesday morning Bird walk, so there were no other people at the park when I showed up. I took a quick one hour tour just to see what was around. I was greeted by two Northern Flickers.
I did also manage to find: one Whitetail, two immature bald eagles, and thousands of waterfowl; Canada Geese, Mallards, Buffleheads, Golden Eyes, Merganser's.
A very breezy day with gusts to 80kph.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Boreal Chickadee

We wandered into the Weaselhead this week for our Calgary Birding walk. I had been watching the sightings reports each day to confirm that everyone was seeing the Boreal Chickadee. I was hopeful they would remain around as I cannot confirm any of my own personal sightings. After our second visit to the "hot spot" the leader had determined they were not going to show, when, as one of the last "hanger's on" I was rewarded with my own viewing. They are tough birds to capture a good image of,  they trend to hang around inside the heavy spruce cover. One did manage to pop out for an instant though.  I have also included a copy of their much more famous cousin.
My first Boreal Chickadee, hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Snowy Owl Chilly Willy morning

Even at noon the temp was pretty cool, I was keeping an eye on the sky hoping for some decent light, but it never materialized. One thing about this cold weather, the deer were out in force today, I probably spotted 70 or more.
A pretty poor outing; many magpies, redpolls, sparrows, pidgeons and the like--only three identifiable birds of prey: a prairie falcon, a northern goshawk and this female snowy.
Have a Great Day!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

First Bird tour

-16C with 30 kph winds today so I did not take my camera along for the stroll. We had a successful walk in FCPP, the highlight being the three very calm GHO's that we were witness to. There were a lot of the other regular cast of characters; Chickadee, White Breasted Nuthatch, Bald Eagle, Downy and Hairy woodpecker, and a variety of water birds, including a lesser Scaup.
Hope everyone is bundled up warm, it is supposed to be cold all week here.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Snowy Owl's targetted

Well Mike showed up at 7:30, and I wasn’t ready, crossed wires I guess. The Snowy hunt still turned out to be successful! My best day yet with 4 separate birds, they were very skittish and getting close was impossible. Managed a shot at this mature male.

We also found a couple of Roughies, a Kestral, and a nice Northern Goshawk.

Tomorrow is my first official Bird walk at FCPP—they found 4 GHO’s today so I will lug the camera around with me just in case.


Friday, 13 January 2012

White Breasted Nuthatch

Found this little fellow down at FCPP this afternoon. We had good light, but it was very windy.
I received a note that Michael is unavailable for our Snowy hunt in the morning. I am not certain if I will get out or not.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Downey Woodpecker Chickadee Fish Creek Park first adventure

I headed down to Fish Creek Park this afternoon for a walk. It was a bright sunny day and I thought I might be able to catch a bird or two.  I've signed up as a participant for the next 12 weeks, Sunday bird walks in the park. I am hoping to hone my bird identification skills and maybe find a secret hideout or two for a specie. I wasn't there 20 minutes and found my buddy Harry the Downey Woodpecker:
And everywhere you go you can find the Blacked Capped Chickadee:

The couple of hours were gone before I knew it with a couple thousand Canada Geese, buffleheads, Goldeneye's, Merganser's, a Flicker, and who knows what all else. I did spot a large bird of prey that looked like it could be a Goshawk, I will need someone else to take a look and offer an opinion.
So you will be getting a pile of bird updates over the next while, I hope that doesn't stop you from visiting to see what is up.


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Northern Goshawk Great Horned Owl (20120107)

I saw this bird last week in the exact same area, but was unable to identify as I couldn't get a shot of him prior to flying off. This morning I was ready, and it was cooperative. My third Northern Goshawk sighting.
Today was a branch challenging day, first with the Goshawk, then with a GHO:

Sorry for the blurry shot, but this is the the only one I managed to get, first time I have found  a GHO with outstanding light for quite a while. I need to work on my stealth-mode approaches a lot more. I did manage to get a shot, but I was hoping to get quite a bit closer given teh conditions. Today was a "good day"!
2GHO's, one Snowy, my first Gray partridges of the year (8), the Goshawk, a coyote, some deer and two misplaced cow moose. I also found several Rough Legged's on the way home. The new truck worked out great!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Wolves Bighorn sheep (20120101) Happy New Year What a day!

Happy New Year Jan. 1 2012 What a day!

Even with my limited success with moose of late, Jamie asked me to find him a Bull Moose today. We met @ 7:30, he had to put his “outfit” on, then we gassed up the truck and left Calgary. 8:55 a.m. two bull moose for the lad, job done!

Through the rest of the day we only added 3 wolves, 8 elk, 8 deer, 20 Mountain sheep (two groups) some birds of prey, and 26 wild horses (four different groups). What a way to start off the year. I hope it is an indication of the critters to come this year! I’ve thrown in a couple of shots, hard to pick what to post!

Happy New Year to everyone out there reading this!