Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 03/28/2016

Photo taken on March 27, 2016

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Anne Elliott
Mourning Cloak
wings spread
Pearce Estate
dorsal view
dead leaves
Nymphalis antiopa
early spring
on the ground
27 March 2016

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Mourning Cloak / Nymphalis antiopa

Mourning Cloak / Nymphalis antiopa
Not the kind of photo I particularly like to take, but this is where this Mourning Cloak butterfly was sitting. The first one I had seen this year, so thought I'd keep the shot for the record.

After missing birding walks with friends the previous two weeks, I finally got myself out to the walk yesterday afternoon. It was held at a location that I have only been to a handful of times before - Pearce Estate, near the community of Inglewood - and I never like the last part of the drive there. Yesterday, I got caught at the railway tracks and had to wait forever for the long, slow freight train to come to an end. At the next road intersection, there were roadworks and a sign saying that my lane was closed ahead, with a large arrow pointing in the opposite direction. It all looked fine to me, and I was easily able to go where I wanted. On the way home, though, there was a 'no left turn' sign, so I had to find another way out of there. Never something I enjoy!

"The Pearce Estate Wetland lies in a curve of the Bow River as it flows through the southeast part of the city. The 15-hectare wetland area, when combined with the adjacent provincially operated Bow Habitat Station, results in a 21-hectare park. The area was donated to the city by William Pearce, a prominent early Calgarian who died in 1930. The current wetland area and interpretive trail were redeveloped and opened to the public in 2004."

During our walk almost as far as Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, we were delighted to see a Great Horned Owl twice; the second time, it was being harassed by several Magpies. Though the river at this location is safer now, we still miss seeing the dozens or even hundreds of American White Pelicans that used to congregate at the old Weir. I add three previously posted shots of some of these Pelicans in a comment box under the previous shot, of the River Passage art installation. We also enjoyed seeing this beautiful butterfly, warming itself in the sun.

After our walk, we decided to call in at the nearby Blackfoot Truckstop for an early supper. Being Easter Sunday, it was fairly empty and quiet and we all enjoyed the good food that this place is well known for. For me, this was a Western Omelette (with green peppers, ham, mushrooms and cheese) and hashbrowns. Perhaps not exactly what one thinks of as Easter dinner, but it was so very enjoyable being there with good friends. Thanks so much, Bernie and Stephen, for leading this walk!

I will add their report of species seen:

"1. Canada Goose 12
2. Mallard 6
3. Common Goldeneye 5
4. Common Merganser 9
5. Ring-billed Gull 14
6. California Gull 1
7. Rock Pigeon 14
8. Great Horned Owl 1
9. Downy Woodpecker 7
10. Northern Flicker 8
11. Black-billed Magpie 11
!2. American Crow 8
13. Common Raven 2
14. Black-capped Chickadee 16
15. White-breasted Nuthatch 4
16. American Robin 12
17. House Finch 4
18. House Sparrow 5

Richardson Ground Squirrel 3
Eastern Grey Squirrel 4
Morning Cloak Butterfly 1"