Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 06/06/2016

Photo taken on May 29, 2016

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Mountain Bluebird
Sialia currucoides
SW of Calgary
Anne Elliott
© All Rights Reserved
© Anne Elliott 2016
side view
fence post
29 May 2016

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Photos with the keyword: male

Lots of 'bling'

Lots of 'bling' 

We are having hot weather, which always knocks me out! Today, it is supposed to get up to 31C (to feel like 33C). My place is already feeling like an oven after the last few hot days, and this is expected to continue for a few more days. Actually, there is a Heat Warning in effect.

In Bluebirds, the blue colour is produced by the structure of the feather - there is no blue pigment. "Tiny air pockets in the barbs of feathers can scatter incoming light, resulting in a specific, non-iridescent color. Blue colors in feathers are almost always produced in this manner. Examples include the blue feathers of Bluebirds, Indigo Buntings, Blue Jay's and Steller's Jays."

It was the annual May Species Count on the weekend of 28 and 29 May 2016. My group's Saturday Count was down in Fish Creek Provincial Park, at Votier's Flats and Shaw's Meadow.

On the Sunday, our usual small group (six of us in two cars) covered an area SW of the city - which happens to be one of my favourite and most visited areas. We had a great day, stopping at a few wetlands and calling in at Barb Castell's acreage where she usually has amazing birds to show us. Several special species were missing, but we were delighted to watch a teeny Ruby-throated Hummingbird. We were also happy to see seven Rose-breasted Grosbeaks during the day, and a male American Kestrel that caught a frog for supper! No owls to be found anywhere, but I did go back the following evening (30 May) and saw two separate Great Gray Owls in our Count area. I went back again the next evening (1 June) and found the first owl again. This time, it wasn't pouring with rain, but I was looking into the sun (so a lot of blown-out feathers) and it was very windy.

On Sunday's Count, we stopped at Brown-Lowery Provincial Park and ate our picnic lunches and then did a short walk to look for Calypso Orchids. I took too long trying in vain to get a sharp photo of a little group of fungi, that I missed the orchids, but that's OK, as I have seen them several times before.

After the Count came to an end, I drove a few of the back roads again, taking a few more shots of the Wilson's Snipe - a favourite of mine. I also pulled over to get a couple of shots of this handsome male Mountain Bluebird. He has four, different coloured bands, each one with a different meaning. This was not my 'usual' Bluebird.

"The count goes May 28-29: Calgary birders have been out in force every May since 1979, contributing to a broad census of the constantly changing patterns of bird distributions in North America. Last year (2015) we found 212 species. The count circle is the same as previous years, extending from Olds to Nanton, and from Exshaw to Standard, and includes a variety of environments." From NatureCalgary.

I will add the final list from our leader, Gus Y - 70 bird species seen, wow!

"May species count, Terr. #22, Priddis Area: Plummers Rd, from Hwy 22 to #762, SW of Calgary, 0730-1530, Sun. 29May2016. 58 km. Mostly sunny, becoming overcast at noon, S wind, becoming gusty, 10 -20 kph. 13-18°C.

Canada Goose-45
American Wigeon-6
Blue-winged Teal-16
Cinnamon Teal-8
Northern Shoveler-3
Green-winged Teal-4
Ring-necked Duck-12
Lesser Scaup-29
Hooded Merganser-1 f.
Ruddy Duck-11
Ring-necked Pheasant-3
Great Blue Heron-1
Swainson’s Hawk-2
Red-tailed Hawk-6
American Kestrel-2
American Coot-10
Spotted Sandpiper-8
Wilson’s Snipe-10
Wilson’s Phalarope-4
Black Tern-22
Mourning Dove-1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1
Red-naped Sapsucker-1
Black-backed Woodpecker-2
Northern Flicker-3
Western Wood-Pewee-5
Least Flycatcher-6
Easterm Phoebe-1
Easterm Kingbird-1
Gray Jay-2
Clark’s Nutcracker-1
Black-billed Magpie-6
American Crow-4
Common Raven-5
Tree Swallow-86
Cliff Swallow-6
Barn Swallow-2
Black-capped Chickadee-3
Mountain Chickadee-1
Boreal Chickadee-2
Red-breasted Nuthatch-2
House Wren-9
Mountain Bluebird-29
American Robin-13
Gray Catbird-2
European Starling-8
Tennessee Warbler-11
Yellow Warbler-6
Cape May Warbler-1
Chipping Sparrow-8
Clay-coloured Sparrow-13
Savannah Sparrow-4
Song Sparrow-1
Lincoln’s Sparrow-4
White-throated Sparrow-1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-7
Black-headed Grosbeak-1, or hybrid.
Red-winged Blackbird-178
Western Meadowlark-2
Yellow-headed Blackbird-2
Brewer’s Blackbird-7
Brown-headed Cowbird-6
Baltimore Oriole-4
American Goldfinch-5
Richardson’s Ground Squirrel-11

Mule Deer-1
White-tailed Deer-4
Boreal Chorus Frog-10+
Green Comma Butterfly-2
Western White-1
Tiger Swallowtail-2

Gus Yaki"

Pam J, ROL/Photo have particularly liked this photo

2 years ago.
Pam J
Pam J
Stunning Anne

(You may like to look at my friends return to Ft McM pic... its the last pic I posted)
2 years ago.