Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 04/09/2015

Photo taken on November 23, 2014

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side view
Downy Woodpecker
Fish Creek Park
wooden stump
using tail for balance

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Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
This photo was taken on 23 November 2014, when I went for part of a birding walk with friends in Fish Creek Park. There is always a Downy Woodpecker to be seen in the Sikome area, along with the usual Black-capped Chickadees.

"The active little Downy Woodpecker is a familiar sight at backyard feeders and in parks and woodlots, where it joins flocks of chickadees and nuthatches, barely outsizing them. An often acrobatic forager, this black-and-white woodpecker is at home on tiny branches or balancing on slender plant galls, sycamore seed balls, and suet feeders. Downies and their larger lookalike, the Hairy Woodpecker, are one of the first identification challenges that beginning bird watchers master." From AllAboutBirds.

I was lucky enough to get a quick sighting of the Long-tailed Weasel that day, too, when I called in after the walk. Only managed to take a handful of shots and most didn't come out well enough to post, but it was still nice to see this little animal in its beautiful white, winter coat.

Update on 9 April 2015: it looks like the pair of Great Horned Owls that have nested in the Sikome area for years, have not had a successful nesting season this year. People had been seeing Dad sitting in one of the trees up till recently, keeping watch over the nest where Mom was out of sight in the cavity. Apparently, both adults are now being seen sitting in nearby trees, which presumably means that they have had no little ones this year. Or else it means that something happened to the tiny owlets after they were hatched. This is all so sad, for the owls themselves, and for all the people who have been following these owls for years. They gave us all so much pleasure, especially when the owlets were old enough to perch on top of the hollow snag.