Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 01/10/2016

Photo taken on January  9, 2016

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Anne Elliott
E of Calgary
Mid-winter Bust-out
Terry K's trip
attached to fence
red eyes
9 January 2016

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The donkeys with reflector eyes

The donkeys with reflector eyes
I've seen this fence several times before, E of Calgary. It has various animal shapes, including a bear, fixed to the outside of the fence. The red eyes look like they are made from reflectors.

All three photos posted this morning were taken yesterday, 9 January 2016, when I took part in a Mid-winter Bust-out trip east of the city. Eight of us, plus our leader, took part in this day trip - maybe when everyone else saw what the temperature was first thing in the morning (-23C, not counting windchill, which would have made it much colder), they changed their mind about going! Everything was covered in a heavy layer of hoar frost, which turned everywhere into a beautiful winter wonderland. The sky was blue - what more could anyone want? Well, a few birds would be nice, of course : )

The highlight of the day was seeing 6 Short-eared Owls, in addition to 6 Snowy Owls (7 seen by the people in the other cars, when we split up at the end of the day). As a photographer, though, the only birds that were close enough were two of the Snowy Owls - the one that I posted today and another one that was even further away. All the Short-eared Owls were tiny dots in the landscape. I don't know how anyone was able to spot them! I'm amazed (and thankful) that the three photos today came out OK, as most of the photos I took of anything yesterday are so blurry and not fit for use. Zoomed in shots, especially, suffered from heat distortion - and distorted they are!

Our meeting place was right across the city; a drive that I never enjoy at all, but I really didn't want to miss this outing. Some of the roads we travelled were ones that I had driven several times before. Most of the time, though, I had no idea where we were : )

As always happens on any day that I go anywhere, I turned my camera lens to anything else of interest/beauty, even more so when the birds are way, way off in the distance. Like the barn in the previous photo, the splash of red in these eyes was a welcome sight.

I will add the list of bird species seen that Andrew H. compiled. Many thanks for driving some of us. Thank you, Terry - it was a great day and much appreciated, as always! You did an excellent write-up of the whole day (not posted here).

3 Canada Goose
4 Rough-legged Hawk
6 Snowy Owl
6 Short-eared Owl
1 Downy Woodpecker
34 Black-billed Magpie
46 Common Raven
73 Horned Lark
1 Black-capped Chickadee
75 Snow Bunting
511 Common Redpoll
1 Hoary Redpoll
32 House Sparrow