Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Bohemian Waxwings, Rocky Mountain Sheep-guest starring a Blackbilled Magpie (20141102) Second part of a beautiful day!

Welcome back to part two of out fabulous adventure on a sunny Sunday that started at the Ranch is winding up in the mountains. Traffic started picking up  a little a when I spotted four little birds on the side of the road it was a good opportunity to stop and let the tailgater by. We were hoping for a specific specie, they turned out to be American Tree Sparrows.
Our next encounter was with a group of Rocky Mountain Sheep. The group started out small and more seemed to appear the longer we sat watching. The next thing-- Jamie says "oh, great there are Magpies here" then I saw what he meant!
Then he was telling Tim and I of another time he found Magpies with the sheep and that they hang around and "pick" stuff off their fur.
I am always amazed that animals know what they can trust and what they cannot. Wether it is a leaf blowinf by or another bird flying in they have an understanding of their world that I find fascinating.
How does the sheep know that the Magpie is there to perform a service and that it can be trusted? How does Magpie know that the sheep can be trusted?
By the time we left there were more than 50 sheep present, the largest grouping I have ever witnessed in this area. We continued on route home when I think it was Jamie that spotted a flock of birds swirling around. We pulled over and watched where they headed. We sat for a couple of minutes and the Waxwings came to visit us.
All in all between 200 and 500 birds in this group. We were losing light fast and spent quite a bit of time, we had front row seats.
They would drop down out of the tree and feed. I am always impressed how such colourful, beautiful birds can just melt away on the ground. How many birds can you find in this shot?
We were surprised by the sudden presence of an accipitor and the birds scattered, flushed and headed out on their way. I'll wrap up this post with one last shot for Zelly, another mountain landscape.
What a great day, with great company. I believe a good time was had by all, and everyone is anxious to see the shots. I hope you all get some wild in your life soon.

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