Friday, 26 June 2015

Birds, Bees, Marten and a Squirrel - 23 June 2015

Had a few interesting encounters this past week.
While at Fort Whyte on the 16th we came across a Goose and 9 Goslings. We waited while they exited the bush and slowly made their way down the path toward the pond. We soon realized that there was a second similar sized gaggle coming out of the bush. We waited as they too slowly made their way toward the pond. The second group joined the first group and stopped on the foot bridge. We soon realized that a lone gosling was trying to make its way to them but we were to close to the spot where the gosling would have to exit the bush and it was frantically running back and forth in the bush trying to find a way to its gaggle. We moved back about 20 feet and the gosling made a frantic dash to the gaggle. Once the gosling joined the gaggle they once again started their slow walk to the pond.
On the 17th we went to the spot where we try to get photos of Belted Kingfishers and Swallows.
We discovered that a pair of Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers had a nest in a hollow about 15 feet up in a tree that is right next to our spot. We heard peeping coming from the nest last week and this week the nestling has been sticking its head out of the nest to be fed.
While getting some video of the action we heard clucking from the river. We stopped the video and walked over to the river bank where we could see something dark moving on the river bank about 40 feet away. As it got closer and came out of the bush we realized it was a Marten with another clucking in the bush behind it. It was moving fast but we did get manage to get a few not so good photos. We had a hard time keeping the Marten in the viewfinder so all the shots are blurred and some were only of the front or rear half of the Marten.

Link to the Sapsucker Video. It runs for 34 seconds.

First gaggle
Second Gaggle Emerging from the bush

Tardy gosling rejoins gaggle. Both gaggles head for the pond at a leisurely pace
Canada Goose Egg

Red Winged Blackbird Female
A popular spot for Bees

Friday, 19 June 2015

Cooper's Hawk, Kingfisher, Swallow And A Few Bee's - 17 June 2015

Went to the spot where I try to get photos of Belted Kingfishers and Northern Rough Winged Swallows on the 17th. I had just set up my collapsible stool and had just sat down when I heard a Kingfisher chatter close by.
A second later the Kingfisher burst from the trees fighting with another bird. The other bird fell into the river and I was surprised to see it was a Cooper's Hawk. The Kingfisher perched on a branch about 40 feet away, the Cooper's Hawk flew out of the river and landed on a branch several feet away where it was immediately beset by Northern Rough Winged Swallows.
The Cooper's Hawk didn't stick around long and flew off. The fight lasted but a few seconds, and the remainder of the incident lasted maybe 5 seconds.
I was able to get only a few really bad shots of the Hawk as I hadn't been able to set up the camera being that the action started as soon as I sat down and only lasted about 7 seconds. I also didn't have time to clear the weeds that were in the line of sight so they have blurred parts of the photo.

Cooper's Hawk just after it got out of the river

Belted Kingfisher shortly after the Hawk departed.

Northern Rough Winged Swallow

One of several Bee's that were buzzing around my feet

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Ground Hogs - 10 June 2015

Came across a Groundhog Mother and young at Fort Whyte on June 10th.

How I first encountered them. Dark spot wrong camera setting

Youngster went exploring
Youngster finally emerged into the light and I was able to get a few shots before it disappeared.

A few Groundhogs I have seen in the past

Birds - 22 April 2015

End of April was still early in the migration so the variety of birds was still limited.

American Coot

Fox Sparrow

Hermit Thrush

Mourning Dove

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks

Friday, 5 June 2015

Mid April Photos - Assorted Birds - 6 May 2015

An assortment of photos from mid April.

Mourning Dove

Northern Flicker

Northern Harrier

Purple Finch

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Trumpeter Swan

Wood Duck

Wood Duck

Yellow Rumped Warbler