Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 08/11/2018

Photo taken on August  7, 2018

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Anne Elliott
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus varius
© All Rights Reserved
front/side view
Canon SX60
© Anne Elliott 2018
E of Bottrel
Lisa Harbinson's property
7 August 2018

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Birds of a feather

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, adult male

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, adult male 

This morning, 11 August 2018, it is such a smoky day from the wildfires in British Columbia, and our temperature is only 19C so far, just before noon. Yesterday, it got up to 36.4C, which made it the hottest day EVER recorded in Calgary! The previous record was 36.1C in 1919. On top of the heat, the smoke from wildfires is making the heat even more unbearable, as well as producing poor visibility - and High Risk for the air quality today. Functioning in the heat, without air-conditioning, is not my strong point : )

Back to the bio-blitz on Lisa Harbinson' property for my photos today. I really need to get the rest of my suitable shots taken that day edited and posted, so that I can send her the link to my album. That means I might just edit a few more photos and add them later today. It's too smoky to venture outside, so this will have to be another day at home.

The area we visited on 7 August was an 80-acre site near Bottrel, NW of Calgary. The site consisted of mostly open, low, hilly, ungrazed land, with a few Aspens and Spruce, and willows around three ponds (two of which were dry). On 25 May 2018, four people had visited this site for the first time - I had been unable to go, as I was spending the day with my daughter.

I believe this recent visit was the result of the owners winning a free bioblitz at a Silent Auction, in connection with the Ghost Valley Community. A great idea and always a win-win situation, with the land owners learning a lot about what is found on their land, and the leader and participants enjoying a much-appreciated visit to a different location.

We were very lucky to see an adult male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker with two juveniles. I rarely see one of these birds, but love to see the neat rows of small holes that they make on a tree trunk.

"Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are fairly small woodpeckers with stout, straight bills. The long wings extend about halfway to the tip of the stiff, pointed tail at rest.

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are mostly black and white with boldly patterned faces. Both sexes have red foreheads, and males also have red throats. Look for a long white stripe along the folded wing. Bold black-and-white stripes curve from the face toward a black chest shield and white or yellowish underparts.

They feed at sapwells—neat rows of shallow holes they drill in tree bark. They lap up the sugary sap along with any insects that may get caught there. Sapsuckers drum on trees and metal objects in a distinctive stuttering pattern." From AllAboutBirds.

Did you know that photographing mushrooms can be dangerous? I believe I knew this already and I was reminded of this on this bioblitz. Towards the end of our hike, I stopped to photograph a not particularly photogenic mushroom that was growing on a very slight incline. I took one step back to focus better and lost my balance - not sure if my foot went down into a shallow hole or if I was tripped up by one of the many very small, short tree stumps. Whatever the cause, I did a most inelegant, slow-motion fall backwards, hitting my head hard on the ground, surrounded by my friends. Because I was wearing a backpack, I think this resulted in some whiplash, with my head falling back. It was not pleasant to drive anywhere the next day, especially each time I had to start off when traffic lights turned green. The muscles all around my neck and my shoulders are painful, but hopefully it will clear up before too long.

Pam J, homaris, Malik Raoulda, Chris Hamilton and 3 other people have particularly liked this photo

7 comments - The latest ones
merci pour les explications !! belle capture
4 months ago.
Gabi Lombardo
Gabi Lombardo
awesome! thanks for informations!
4 months ago.
Chris Hamilton
Chris Hamilton
Nice scene and composure.
4 months ago.
Malik Raoulda
Malik Raoulda
Vu et admiré avec plaisir au
4 months ago.
Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott
Thank you so much, neira-Dan, Gabi, Chris and Malik. Much appreciated!
4 months ago.
Pam J
Pam J
Excellent !

Admired in ~ I ♥ Nature
4 months ago.
Malik Raoulda
Malik Raoulda
Vu et admiré/Admired in
NATURE et Biodiversité..
3 months ago.