Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 04/18/2015

Photo taken on April  5, 2015

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SE of Calgary
Frank Lake
front/side view
Family: Icteridae
short piece of metal fencing
snow-covered ground
medium-sized icterid bird
about 8.5 in (22 cm) long
Western Meadowlark
Sturnella neglecta
call is watery or flute-like

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Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark
This is a fully zoomed image and cropped. There was little I could do with the composition, but I liked the distant splash of colour from this beautiful Western Meadowlark.

""The buoyant, flutelike melody of the Western Meadowlark ringing out across a field can brighten anyone’s day. Meadowlarks are often more easily heard than seen, unless you spot a male singing from a fence post. This colorful member of the blackbird family flashes a vibrant yellow breast crossed by a distinctive, black, V-shaped band. Look and listen for these stout ground feeders in grasslands, meadows, pastures, and along marsh edges throughout the West and Midwest, where flocks strut and feed on seeds and insects." From AllAboutBirds.

The photo was taken on 5 April 2015, when I woke up to a winter scene, as it had snowed overnight. I wasn't sure if the birding outing would be cancelled, but fortunately we went ahead as planned. The whole area at and around Frank Lake is one of my favourite places. It was snowing on and off during the day and visibility was not very good. Pretty well all the birds we saw were distant or very distant, as usual when I go on one of these outings. A very enjoyable day as always, though, in an interesting place and with good company.

I will add the leader, Tony Timmons' list of our sightings, below, mainly for my own memory. Thanks for the great day, Tony!

"Five participants for the Easter Sunday, Nature Calgary Trip to Frank Lake.

We found 47 species. Best sighting for the group was an adult Golden Eagle perched on the ground close to the road, (along 184st.E and west of the intersection with 594 Ave.E. on route to Basin3)

A Eurasian Wigeon was along the access road to Basin 2,and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were spotted in Basin 1.

Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan 15
Tundra Swan 2
Eurasian Wigeon 1
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Barrow's Goldeneye 1m
Common Merganser 5
Hooded Merganser 8
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Ruddy Duck 1
Bald Eagle 1 ad.
Golden Eagle 1 ad.
Northern Harrier 7
Red-tailed Hawk 2
American Kestrel 2
Gray Partridge 8
American Coot
Killdeer 2
American Avocet 2
Franklin"s Gull 8
Ring-billed Gull 10
California Gull 100
Rock Pigeon
Great Horned Owl 3 ad.
Northern Shrike 1
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark 25
American Robin
European Starling
Dark-eyed Junco 1
Lapland Longspur (small flock overhead 5-6)
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Yellow-headed Blackbird 5
Western Meadowlark 6
House Sparrow

Tony Timmons"