Friday, 22 June 2012

Canada Again

After a gruelling days travelling we finally arrived unscathed in Calgary, Alberta and joined my son Jeremy and his family.  It is always great to meet up with Jeremy, his wife Saskia and our grandchildren Morris, Tara and Holly.  My first chance of some birding was earlier this afternoon when with Morris we took a walk around the Weaselhead Trail.  Calgary has some fantastic birding sites and when in them it is hard to believe you are within the limits of Canada's fastest growing city.

Arriving at the parking lot we moved down through a scrubby hill where White-throated Sparrows sang their dreary songs and approaching the river Yellow Warblers took over the chorus.  At the bridge the large colony of Cliff Swallows was very active and a Spotted Sandpiper called from the river.  Crossing the bridge we came across a superb small group of Cedar Waxwings "flycatching" from riverside trees.

Cedar Waxwings in riverside trees
Watching these beautiful birds was fascinating and there were good opportunities for photographs. Overhead  a Red-tailed Hawk and a Swainson's Hawk sailed by.

Cedar Waxwing
Moving on through scrub and mature forest we heard more Yellow Warblers and found a pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds.  Later on an oxbow of the Elbow River we encountered a female Goldeneye but little else except a calling Northern Flicker.  We were heading for a particular clearing and getting there we waited only a minute or two before a pair of Calliope Hummingbirds showed up.  The male was most obliging and sat around in the open flashing his scarlet throat feathers.  This tiny creature is the smallest hummingbird in North America.

Male Calliope Hummingbird.
We headed back to the car as rain clouds threatened noting American Goldfinches and a Downy Woodpecker flying over.  Two Least Chipmunks also allowed close observation.

Least Chipmunk
As spits of rain fell we had a quick look at Glenmore Reservoir.  In the gathering gloom we could see at least 6 Great Blue Herons, c40 Canada Geese and a superb adult Bald Eagle sitting at the water's edge.  Then it was back home for a welcome supper.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy your visit to Canada West. Hope the weather improves!