Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 04/27/2015

Photo taken on April 26, 2015

1/1250 f/5.0 108.0 mm ISO 100

Panasonic DMC-FZ200

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Sturnella neglecta
Western Meadowlark
SE of Calgary
Frank Lake
Family: Icteridae
medium-sized icterid bird
about 8.5 in (22 cm) long
side view
fence post
call is watery or flute-like

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Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark
Yesterday, 26 April 2015, was spent with a fair-sized group of friends, driving out to Frank Lake. The weather was beautiful and, for once, not windy. Frank Lake and the surrounding area is one of my favourite places to spend a day or half a day.

On a trip like the one yesterday, there are a lot of the birds that I don't see, as I don't use binoculars, and my interest is not to see as many species as possible, but to hopefully come across a few birds close enough to photograph. As with this photo, most photos tend to be barely within camera range. However, I don't see Western Meadowlarks very often, so I do like to add the occasional, usually distant, image to my Birds of Alberta set(s).

"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.

I will add the final list of the 51 species seen, complied by our Leader, Tony Timmons. Probably not of much interest to most people, but it does help my memory. Many thanks, as always, Tony, for a very successful and most enjoyable day! Really appreciate your giving up a precious weekend day to take us out there.

"The birds put on a spectacular show for the 19 participants on the Frank Lake trip today. We tallied 51 species.

Expected species were present in pretty good numbers; most noteworthy being American Avocet (200+) and White-faced Ibis (120). Thousands of ducks were on the Lake.

Thanks to Dan Parliament and Al Borgardt for scoping birds and sharing sightings with the group.

Before the start of the trip,Rose Painter spotted two Long-billed Curlew near Blackie. Later in the day, We searched for the birds without success.

Eared Grebe 250
Western Grebe 20
Double-crested Cormorant 25
Black-crowned Night Heron 1
White-faced Ibis 120
Canada Goose
Swan sp. 12
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Green-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser 2 f.
Ruddy Duck
Northern Harrier 3
Swainson's Hawk 3
Gray Partridge 4
American Coot
Killdeer 5
Black-necked Stilt 10
American Avocet 200+
Greater Yellowlegs 5
Lesser Yellowlegs 17
Franklin's Gull 1000
Bonaparte's Gull 10
Ring-billed Gull 5
California Gull 20
Rock Pigeon
Great Horned Owl ( 3 ad. + 3 owlets )
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow 60
Bank Swallow 1
Marsh Wren 4
American Robin
European Starling
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark 5
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird 1
House Sparrow

Tony Timmons"


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