Saturday, 21 December 2013

Sharptail, Goshawk (20131219) A morning out at the Ranch.

Lots of fresh snow over the past day or two so Kerri and I thought about going for a Cougar scout, but the temperature wa -20C and a windchill that dropped the temp another -10 to -15 to make it too unpleasant for an extended walk outside. So we headed to the Ranch, Kerri had never been out there yet. We grabbed some brekkies and tanked up with fuel. It was a pretty light drive in with 8-10 Whitetails. Kerri had never got a good look at a Sharptail Grouse, so we were running my Sharpie areas, when we found this cow moose.
As the sun came up we received the benefit of some terrific light. We made a run  up Sharie Ridge and lo and behold we found this little sweetheart budding in a tree. It was cooperative enough for us to grab a couple of shots.
We made a run into one of my favourite Ranch areas with the hope of spotting some more moose. We stoppped and took a look across the river and found this small herd of elk. 
It was turning into a glorious day and it was a pleasure to be in the woods. We were headed over to High River to do  a Short Earred Owl run in the afternoon. On the way we found this mature Northern Goshawk taking in the sun, he was a long way out in a field so we had to settle for long distance shots. 
After we had our shots and were walking back to the truck this beautiful bird decided to change vantage points. Although he was still a long way off I love how this shot looks with the full blue sky for background.
This wrapped up our morning cruise, which produced two new birds for Kerri, the Sharpie and a mature Goshawk. It has been a couple of years since I have been able to grab a shot of these great predators. We were off to High River to see Albert and Walter for lunch, and a great afternoon of Owling. This is the greatest way to spend time in Alberta when the temperature gets to these conditions:)

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