Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 04/20/2015


Photo taken on November  9, 2013


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nature
like winter
S of Calgary
near Stavely
Alberta
Canada
desolate
reservoir
seasons
fall
hills
scenery
lake
autumn
landscape
view
water
Pine Coulee Reservoir


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Pine Coulee Reservoir last November

Pine Coulee Reservoir last November
This photo was taken on 9 November 2013, and shows a tiny part of the Pine Coulee Reservoir, Alberta. Yesterday, 19 April 2015, I went with a group of friends on a birding trip to the same area. I didn't get yesterday's photos downloaded to my computer till late in the evening and felt too tired to go though them to find a scenic shot to post today. There was no snow on the ground yesterday and the colours were very different.

After a lovely late start, at 9:30 am - wish all our outings started so late! - we very slowly travelled many backroads south of Calgary, eventually arriving at the Pine Coulee Reservoir. I love the whole area down south with its rolling hills. The weather was beautiful, plenty of bird species were seen (though many not seen myself), and the company was great. As always, I did not see many of the birds, as they were far too far away and I don't have binoculars. Walkie Talkies would be so good to have on any trip where there is more than one car : )

I will add the report compiled by leader, Terry Korolyk. The style in which it is written (i.e. not just a straight species list) may not mean much to most people, but I'm adding it for my own record. Many thanks for another great trip, Terry!

"Eleven participants showed up for today's Field Trip to Pine Coulee Reservoir. We got off to a good start when a COOPER'S HAWK flew over us at the Glennfield Parking Lot in Fish Creek Provincial Park. From there, we headed for Sheriff King slough in the southwest corner of Highways 2A and 22X. One of the resident Ospreys was at the nest platform and an Eared Grebe was a waterfowl highlight here.

We then made our way through the hills southward turning westward on Highway 549 then driving to Highway 22 where we travelled southward to Chain Lakes Provincial Park. We then drove eastward on the highway to Nanton, but, turned off in a few kilometres on the Flying E Ranch Road and drove to Pine Coulee. We birded Pine Coulee, then drove Range Road 283 to Nanton, then back to Calgary on Highway 2. Due to a good numbers of birds on the route, we were unable to bird Clear Lake as time didn't permit.

The weather was lovely and the large Raptors were loving riding the warm thermals. We counted a total of 30 Rough-legged Hawks for the day with a highlight being just south of Black Diamond when kettles of 5 or so Hawks at once were seen on 3 different occasions. Adult light-phase Red-tails were also there in large numbers, and many of them were on nests. Unusual Buteos seen included an adult light-phase Red-tail with a throat heavily streaked like the belly, and Harlanishlike dark morph with the upper part of the head frosty white. Six American Kestrels were seen and also, a small hawk that may have been a Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen.

Highlight of the Trip was a 1st. year BEWICK'S SWAN with 4 adult Tundra Swans resting at a small slough on Twp. Rd. 150 just east of the north end of the Reservoir. Unfortunately, the light was so glary when we there, I had to look at photographs when I got home to be able to see the bird well enough. Other Swans seen were 9 Trumpeters at Pine Coulee and 21 Swans(sp) at Silver Lake north Nanton.

GREATER SCAUP can still be seen in this area at this time of year, as today there were 220-230 of them, mainly north of the Bridge west of Stavely and at the north end of the Reservoir. Eleven Horned Grebes were off the Dam at the Reservoir as was a Common Loon. One Red-necked Grebe was at the Chain Lakes Dam. Eight Barrow's Goldeneye were seen and 6 Hooded Mergansers for the day.

Tree Swallows totalled 20-25 for the day, and Red-winged Blackbirds were fairly widespread in low numbers except for a flock of 20 birds resting in a roadside willow tree. Three Great Blue Herons were found. Excellent numbers of all the basic waterfowl species were seen, and, also seen were a male Cinnamon Teal and a few Blue-winged Teal.

Terry Korolyk"

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