Saturday, 15 December 2012

Still Birding in the snow

Bow River at Fish Creek Provincial Park
After a bit of shopping it was time to go birding again.  Phil the chap I met yesterday contacted me and suggested I try the Bow River at Fish Creek Provincial Park moving out near the boat Launch.  I did not score as high as Phil but there were hundreds of Canada Geese flying up and down and resting by the water.  Dozens of Goldeneye and Buffleheads were floating down the river with the flow and then flying upriver again to repeat the process.  I also picked out a Lesser Scaup.

Canada Geese in the snow
Canada Geese flying over.

Male Goldeneye
Female Buffleheads
With all this potential food about it was not surprising that one adult and 2 immature Bald Eagles were in the area.

Juvenile Bald Eagle
I moved on back to Weaselhead and started to walk down to the bridge.  Immediately I heard and saw small groups of Bohemian Waxwings flying over which totalled 115 in about ten minutes.  A Downy Woodpecker was foraging by the feeders which were now empty and a few Common Redpolls and a Red-breasted Nuthatch were also noted. 

Weaselhead in the snow
I walked over the bridge and took the trail into the clearing where I have watched Calliope Hummingbirds in the summer.  Apart from being hassled by Black-capped Chickadees and watching a few croaking Ravens passing overhead everything was quiet.  Walking back I sat on a bench and just soaked up this wonderful place.  Something in my head said look left.  I did and a juvenile Goshawk glided across the frozen stream and into a spruce tree.  Sadly it was not visible enough for a picture. It soon drew the attention of a couple of Dark-eyed Juncos and some Common Redpolls and departed.

A Male Pine Grosbeak photographed in Alaska

Climbing the hill again I looked back down to the frozen Elbow River and picked up a lone Coyote walking out on the ice.  A soft fluty call had me looking up in time to see a splendid male Pine Grosbeak flying above my head.  Another splendid day in this frozen place.

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