Posted by Dan Arndt
Another week, another trip into the wilds of Calgary’s Parks. It was a familiar sight when we assembled at the parking lot at South Glenmore Park, but the difference of a week of sub-zero temperatures turned the open water of the Glenmore Reservoir into a nearly birdless and iced over expanse.
Unfortunately for me, my 150-500mm Sigma lens is once again out for repair, and I didn’t get too many shots of the other birds we had in close proximity to us, so I’ve decided to throw in some photos that I’ve taken elsewhere this year to substitute for the birds we saw on this walk.
We walked from the Boating Club west along the edge of the reservoir, then up into the woods representative of the Boreal Forest biome, then continued west into a finger of Aspen Parkland before returning to the main pathway and returning to our rides.
One of our first sightings from the top of the hill was a Northern Shrike, which appeared to be a juvenile, and quite possibly the same one we saw perched in the exact same spot the week before.
Along the edge of the reservoir we looked out and saw a pair of Bald Eagles attempting to hunt, time and time again. As we neared their roost, we stopped amongst a group of Black-capped Chickadees and happened to spot a Brown Creeper flocking in with them!
The constant din of honking Canada Geese heavily into their migration and low flyovers allowed us some nice close shots, but even better were the groups of Tundra and Trumpeter Swans that also flew back and forth from the west end of the Reservoir, which still had a good amount of open water.
We ascended the hill, and stopped for a few minutes to feed the Black-Capped Chickadees, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, and enjoyed their calls and antics while they ate their fill.
We walked through the Boreal Forest biome and as we crossed into the edge of the Aspen Parkland we paused as we heard not only Golden-crowned Kinglets, but also Boreal Chickadees and Brown Creepers. Quite the sight!
Our final addition of the day, as we neared the western-most extent of our walk, was a flock of more than sixty Bohemian Waxwings decorating a completely defoliated aspen like so many leaves. It was quite the sight and a definite cap to our great day of winter birding!