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Frank Lake and area
frosty trees
E of High River
SE of Calgary
High River Christmas Bird Count

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Yellow for a change

Yellow for a change
Yesterday, 16 December 2014, was the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count for the town of High River. This town is SE of Calgary, roughly half an hour's drive from the southern edge of Calgary. My small group travelled in two cars, 8 people in total, and we covered the SE quadrant of the Count circle.

I will add the report compiled by our leader, Gus Yaki. As usual, there were several of these sightings that I, myself, did not see. I ended up with poor photos of the things I did see - the day was absolutely beautiful, but the light was even worse than I had realized. If your computer monitor is smaller than mine, my images might look a little better : ) The amazing hoar frost, that covered everything, surprisingly lasted pretty well the whole day - usually, it lasts only a short time. So, even though the light wasn't good for photos, the hoar frost beauty stayed with us all day long - breathtaking. For our drive down to High River, we had fog which, in patches, was quite thick. Wondered if we would see anything at all when we reached our area, ha. In addition to that, some of the birds, such as the three Snowy Owls (I only saw two of them) were SO far away, there was no chance for photos except just for the record. Only 35 species were seen in the total for the complete Count circle.

Of course, as always happens, I just had to take photos of anything else that caught my eye, including several barns, cloud formations, farm cats, and so on. Yellow is an unusual colour for an old barn or homestead. Thought I'd add this one to my Barns and Old Things album, even though it's not the most beautiful homestead I've ever seen : )

We had finished our count by 5:00 pm, by which time it was completely dark. A few of us stayed for the delicious pot luck supper, mainly provided by the generous birding people down in High River. Lorrie and John gave a slide show of their recent trip to Africa. So many great shots of beautiful bird species that I have never seen. Thanks, Lorrie and John, for spending time going through all your slides at home and choosing a lovely selection for us.

"HIGH RIVER CBC, SE quadrant, Frank Lk; E of #2, S of #23. 0830-1700, 16Dec2014. Overcast, heavy fog, created great hoarfrost on everything. Winds, variable direction, 10-15kph. -7°C. Ground mostly bare of snow; Little Bow River 95% frozen.

1. Mallard-1 f.
2. Scaup sp.- juv or f, likely Lesser-1
3. Gray Partridge-7
4. Ring-necked Pheasant-2
5. Bald Eagle-3 ( 2 ad/ 1 juv.)
6. Merlin-1 m.
7. Rock Pigeon-8
8. Great Horned Owl- 5 [an additional one seen N of Hwy 23, just W of Frank Lk exit at 16:56 pm.]
9. Snowy Owl-3
10. Downy Woodpecker-2
11. Northern Flicker-2
12. Black-billed Magpie-83
13. Common Raven-15
14. Horned Lark-20
15. Black-capped Chickadee-7
16. Common Redpoll-155
17. House Sparrow-669
18. 17 species of birds


Deer Mouse-1, deceased.
White-tailed Jackrabbit-1
Mule Deer-25
White-tailed Deer-44

Total Km by car-111; by foot- 3.
Total hours by car – 6; on foot-2.5"

Gus Yaki


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