Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 02/04/2014

Photo taken on February  2, 2014

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4 Seasons - Winter 4 Seasons - Winter


sunny day
S of Water Valley

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Winter shadows

Winter shadows
Sometimes, I just can't help myself, lol! When out on a birding trip with friends, my eye does tend to wander and find things that I just can't resist, while everyone else is concentrating hard on looking for birds! In this case, on 2 February 2014, a group of us were on an annual birding trip west of the city, that is normally to the Sibbald Creek area, Exshaw and Harvie Heights. This year, though, we drove around the Water Valley area (NW of Calgary) first and then went straight on to Harvie Heights. Very few birds to be seen in either area, but of course it was wonderful to get out to these places, in good company. At Harvie Heights, near Canmore (near Banff) ,there were no Grosbeaks, no Clark's Nutcrackers, etc.. The same has been true for so many walks and outings these days - where are all the birds? Yesterday, a group of people went to a local city park and, in just under three hours of walking, saw only five species of bird.

The following is the report complied by trip leader, Andrew Hart. Thanks for a great day, as always, Andrew!

"Twelve of us set out on a sunny but chilly day with temperatures ranging
from -14 deg C to -8 deg C

We started off by driving around in the area to the south of Water Valley as far as the Bates Ranch.

We were hoping to find owls, but despite visiting several known previous sighting locations came up short.

We did see several Ravens and Magpies, some Blue Jays (at the Winchell Lake Estates), Black Capped Chickadees, a Rough Legged Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, and Hairy Woodpecker.

We also saw a Coyote.

After lunch we went further south and encountered a family of 6-8 Gray Jays near the Bates Ranch.

We then headed to Harvie Heights. En route we passed a road killed deer swarming with 20 Ravens, and a Coyote angling to see them off. We also saw two Bald Eagles.

At Harvie Heights we saw several Mountain and Black Capped Chickadees, a Brown Creeper, Pine Siskins, Dark Eyed Juncos, and Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers (the Woodpeckers seen by Phil Quin at a feeder by the hamlet entrance that the rest of us drove past). No Pine Grosbeaks (not that much of a surprise this year) and no Clark's Nutcrackers (more of a surprise).

The incredible sunlit snow blanketed scenery made up for the relative shortcomings in bird species."

Cats 99, LeapFrog have particularly liked this photo

Excellent shot and composition Anne ... and weird angles of the sun to product such thin post shadows ...
4 years ago.
David BISE
David BISE
Excellent. Don't you try bw ?
4 years ago.
Cats 99
Cats 99
It's just very neat!
4 years ago.