Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 01/08/2016

Photo taken on December 28, 2015

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Anne Elliott
© All Rights Reserved
NW of Calgary
Cochrane Wildlife Reserve
annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count
© Anne Elliott 2015
N of Cochrane
28 December 2015
standing in snow

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Farm friends

Farm friends
This photo of farm buddies was taken on 28 December 2015, during the annual Audubon Cochrane Wildlife Reserve Christmas Bird Count. The area that my small group of seven people, in two cars, covered was N of Cochrane and E of Highway 22. Though the word 'Reserve' is in the name, this count was like most others, driving all the country backroads and calling in at several farms. The weather was bad, with poor light and gently falling snow pretty well all day long. Thanks so much, Stephen, for driving the four of us safely!

This big dog is such a beautiful creature and I was delighted that he was still at one of the farms we called in at. He followed us around, but kept his distance from us. He keeps away from people unless he knows them. This year, they have added another large dog to their family. Their beautiful ginger cat was still around, too, and it was obvious that these two were friends.

This farm, owned by Steven Tannas, is one of my favourite ones to call in at. We are always allowed to wander freely, in our search for birds, which we really appreciate. I couldn't remember if it was at this location that I photographed a gorgeous, large red barn in 2012. When I asked Steven if the barn was on his property, he said it was over on his neighbour's land. Our next stop was at this neighbour's and, sure enough, there was the barn (plus another, smaller one that I had forgotten).

Steven runs Tannas Conservation Services Ltd.. One of their projects is the rough fescue (native grass) restoration project, which has been very successful over the past 7 years. Check the links below to discover all the other things that Steven's work involves:

I will add our leader's report for this day's count below. Not a huge number of species, with a Pileated Woodpecker being the highlight, plus so many Snow Buntings.

"The day was overcast, light snow most of day, calm, -09°C. 20 cm snow on ground. Most streams frozen over.

Total Party kms by Car - 84; Total Party kms by foot – 2km.
Total Party hours by Car – 3; Total Party hours by foot -2 hrs
Total Party hours feeder watching – 1:40 min.

Rough-legged Hawk-1
Rock Pigeon-4
Downy Woodpecker-10.
Hairy Woodpecker-3
Black-billed Magpie- 19
Common Raven- 18
Black-capped Chickadee- 41
Red-breasted Nuthatch- 3
White-breasted Nuthatch-1
American Tree Sparrow-7
Dark-eyed Junco-1
Snow Bunting-3550
Pine Grosbeak-25
White-winged Crossbill-15
Common Redpoll-1811
House Sparrow-106

Red Squirrel-2"