Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 01/21/2016

Photo taken on December 28, 2015

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Anne Elliott
NW of Calgary
Cochrane Wildlife Reserve
annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count
N of Cochrane
28 December 2015
small rock

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Mystery rock

Mystery rock
This rock and several others, plus a few cacti, were displayed in a raised "flowerbed box" at one of the farms we called in at on 28 December. This is the farm where I love photographing their big, whitish dog and their farm cat. I don't know what kind of rock this is and I am only guessing that the pattern seen is formed of some kind of mineral. I don't know if this is a usual pattern or just coincidence - a completely different example that comes to mind is Dendritic Marble, which has a distinctive pattern. I also don't know if this rock was found locally or maybe collected on a trip. Quite a neat pattern, I thought.

Three days after Christmas, on 28 December 2015, I took part in the annual Audubon Cochrane Wildlife Reserve Christmas Bird Count. The area that my small group of seven people 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!

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"