Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 06/18/2015

Photo taken on June 10, 2015

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side view
SW of Calgary
Anne Elliott
Swainson's Hawk
Buteo swainsoni
Family: Accipitridae
bird of prey
wooden fence railing

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Swainson's Hawk

Swainson's Hawk
When I was editing this image late last night, I didn't notice that the background, especially the top half, was so unpleasant on ones eyes! I wonder if it was because I was having to shoot through the window across the front passenger seat. Actually, I think it looks worse posted on Flickr than when not posted here.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015, was only what I would call a "magical" evening! Normally, I never go out in the evening - usually just too tired and there are all sorts of things needing to be done on my computer. However, having driven SW of the city the previous day and noticing a baby Mountain Bluebird poking its head out of its nesting box, I knew that any time now it and its siblings would be suddenly gone. Since then, I have been back one time and a Tree Swallow poked its head out of the Bluebird nesting box, letting me know that this Bluebird family had fledged and moved away.

It was early evening when I left home on 10 June, after a volunteer shift and a haircut. Really, I was just going to check on the Bluebirds and was not expecting to see all that much else.That's how the evening started, but as the evening progressed, the world seemed to come alive with bird song and activity. It has been a long, long time since I've experienced that, if ever.

Though my trip was mainly just to check on the Bluebirds, I was also lucky to see an American Robin sitting on a barbed-wire fence just a couple of feet away from a brilliant blue male Bluebird. They were way down the road, so I was only able to get a very distant shot, but talk about colour! Also saw a number of Snipe that I love photographing.

When I reached the point where I was going to turn around and head for home, I saw yet another Snipe perched on a fence. Just a few feet from it, on the same fence, was this beautiful Swainson's Hawk! After posing for a while, both birds took off, with the Hawk in hot pursuit of the Snipe. I couldn't see how the chase ended, as I was just getting out of my car to watch, but hopefully the world is not missing a Snipe.

Closer to home, I suddenly spotted a beautiful female Moose at a small wetland, right before I turned on to the main highway. Not sure if it's because I took my first photos of her from inside the car, across the passenger seat, but most were blurry as so often happens. Eventually, she left and started walking along the road away from the highway. I crawled along, watching her way in the distance. She kept walking from side to side of the road and then stopped to lick some salt off the road, bending her front legs to kneel in what looked a very awkward move : ) When she had walked further down the road, I stopped my car and turned on the hazard flashing lights, as she wasn't too obvious in the shade from the trees at the edges of the road. I can see how easily a collision can happen! Fortunately, only one car came along, from behind my car, and the guy slowed down and was smiling. Took a while, but eventually the huge, majestic animal leapt over a barbed-wire fence and sauntered off into the trees.

Driving back to the highway, I stopped to watch three or four young White-tailed Deer having fun at the same wetland. One of them was standing in the water and would occasionally stamp one of its front legs to make a splash and then bound away a few feet. Funny to watch and so good to see it playing so happily.

So, it was quite the evening, to say the least! I drove all the way home with a big smile on my face.

Lol! 41 reasons why you shouldn’t date a photographer:

Peter Van Der Houwen has particularly liked this photo

Peter Van Der Houwen
Peter Van Der Houwen
Superb capture!
2 years ago.