Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 09/07/2014

Photo taken on September  6, 2014

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SW of Calgary
Anne Elliott
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Brown-Lowery Provincial Park
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Picoides dorsalis
© Anne Elliott 2014

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Adult and juvenile Three-toed Woodpeckers

Adult and juvenile Three-toed Woodpeckers
With a weather forecast of rain for tomorrow and mixed precipitation for Tuesday and Wednesday, there were a couple of places that I thought I had better get to yesterday, 6 September 204. The first one was Brown-Lowery, to check if there were any mushrooms. I was there recently, and only found a couple of things. Yesterday's visit was a little more rewarding and I found several large clusters of tiny mushrooms growing on tree stumps or at the base of trees. Also found several patches of bright orange Coral Fung. Quite a few people were in the park, so I felt safer going a very short way in. Far enough, as it turned out, to watch this adult and juvenile Three-toed Woodpecker, feeding together on a tree trunk. The young one was copying Mom or Dad, but its soft squeaking sound resulted in the adult feeding it, too. You can tell this tree has been used by the Three-toed Woodpeckers, as much of the bark has been stripped, leaving the orange/brown wood below. This Woodpecker species seems to be reasonably tolerant of people. These are rare birds here, so I feel very lucky to have seen these two and any others in the past.

On the way home, I decided to call in at Fish Creek Park, hoping to find a Beaver or a MInk that a friend had told me about (thanks, Phil!). Though I did see a couple of Beavers, I wasn't able to get a decent photo of them. One of them was a huge animal - this was the one that was recently found in a trap, biting off one of its front legs that was caught in the trap. Someone had been there when this was happening and she made several reports about it. Thanks, Linda, for doing this. Such a cruel way to deal with any Beaver problem! The now three-legged animal seems to be doing OK.

I was luckier with the Mink, catching it in a couple of quick shots. There were various things blocking part of my view, which is why I got pale or discoloured patches in the lower half of the image (posted today).

On the walk back to my car, I was lucky enough to see a distant doe and her two fawns. Apparently, she had three, so we were wondering if something had happened to one of them. Maybe a Coyote?