Monday, 12 May 2014

Merriam Turkey, Pygmy owl, Sharptail (20130512) Looking for Leks in all the wrong places :)

With our "discovery" yesterday, Kerri and I were keen to further investigate the small congregartion of Sharptails that we found. So she was at my place at 4:30 a.m. to get into position by 5:30.  We were slightly delayed as we found a VERY early morning badger, but it was too dark for photos:( So we parked where I thought would be a good place and listened to see if Kerri could hear the birds (she has much better hearing than I). we watched a bird to two fly away from our area. We then took a little stroll and we very briefly spotted two males dancing quite a way off. We were able to find a couple of birds in the trees.
We watched as one male seemed to be wondering around searching for the ladies. It was great to get a shot of him trying to balance on the barbed wire fence in the wind. Here is a short series. 

These are tough birds to get flight shots of because they are so quick. so here goes another attempt.
Well that will likely wrap up sharttail shots for a while, I think the birds are off to have their eggs and sit for a bit. Our next capture was my first varying hare of the year. Last year seemed to be a much better year for them.
Next up is a bird tht Kerri has been wanting to get for quite a while. As you can tell from some of the previous photos we had a nice bit of snow in the area the previous night. The bright snow made it very tough to get a good image of this Merriam turkey.
Our next great catch of the morning was this calling Northern Pygmy owl. This is a bird that Kerri had many photos of back in December that she lost due to a card malfunction. This opportunity provided the chance to get a couple more shots of one of these tiny owls.
This bird was quite a distance off. I thought I would post a shot that is very heavily cropped to try and give you a better view.
I'll wrap up today's post with this great find. We were home by 1:00 p.m. which still made a long day. This is just a typical day here in Alberta where you never know what you are going to run into.  In addition to the posted birds a few other items we found were 5 ruffed grouse, sapsuckers, yellowrumped warblers, woodpeckers, mountain bluebirds and swallows just to name a few.

PS: here is a shot from Kerri of our Merriam. You can see more of her work at:

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