Darting across the path

It was warmish and sunny in Edmonton this afternoon, so I walked home through Queen Elizabeth Park. While I was taking photos of some juncos rummaging through leaf litter and beaking off chunks of red osier berries, a snowshoe hare darted across the path. Three times in a minute! I missed the leftward bounds, but got a few snaps of the two sprints to the … Continue reading Darting across the path

Furry Friday

The red squirrels looked particularly red today. Was it just because of the quality of the sunlight? Or did it have something to do with the season too? They always look my way when I approach. And then they usually move. Sometimes they disappear, and sometimes they yell at me and keep yelling until I walk away. For some reason, this little fellow only yelled … Continue reading Furry Friday

Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 4

A little recap… Gwyndolyn and her goslings left the nest on May 6th 2016. For a while, George and them were the only goose family at the pond, but soon another family joined them. Part 3 ended on the morning of May 23rd, with cold rain and both mother geese brooding their goslings under their wings. Part 4 starts a week later, on a much … Continue reading Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 4

Pelican fly-by

Last night, a bit before 7, J and I had just sat down for dinner when J got a work phone-call. I continued twirling my spaghetti, took a mouthful and gazed dreamily out the window. Our fourth floor, kitchen/dining room window faces north toward a narrow strip of mixed-deciduous-coniferous forest, followed by a strip of tall, downtown buildings and a wide top strip of sky … Continue reading Pelican fly-by

Young black-billed magpies

I saw my first young black-billed magpies (Pica hudsonia) on May 24 2016 in a Tatarian honeysuckle bush near Parking Lot 10 of the University of Calgary. One sibling was on his own and the three others were together. A few days later, on June 4th, I saw youngsters from another family, a couple of blocks away. Young black-billed magpies are born altricial, with closed … Continue reading Young black-billed magpies

Edmonton

I’ve moved to Edmonton! The new centre of my universe is a neighbourhood called Strathcona. Edmonton is almost 300 km north of Calgary, so spring hadn’t quite sprung when I arrived in late April, though it was already springing in Calgary. The oppressive taupe of the leafless trees lacked visual appeal but the already green grass promised greener days ahead. And, indeed, a week later, … Continue reading Edmonton

Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 3

On the morning of May 6th, Gwyndolyn’s nest was empty. The whole family was swimming across the south pond in an approximate line, with mom in the lead. I can only count 7 fluff-balls in the photo, but there were 8. Their destination was the tasty and rarely human-disturbed grassy strip that forms the central portion of the peninsula which separates the north from the … Continue reading Gwyndolyn’s nest: Part 3

Young Osprey

Two young ospreys fledged from the Bowmont Park nest this year. The starkness of the bare branch against the open sky in this photo compelled me to convert it to black and white. But I wanted to keep the orange eye. Young ospreys have orange eyes whereas adults have light lime-greenish yellow eyes. Also, the white scalloping on the ends of juvenal wing feathers is … Continue reading Young Osprey

Common Goldeneye Ducklings

It has been cold and rainy since Thursday. When I woke up Sunday morning, it was snow-raining. Ugh. Four hours later, at 11 am, it was still snow-raining. Big whine: but we’re in the second half of May! If I had been in a reasonable mood, I could have engaged in one of many entertaining and/or productive indoor activities but… I. Wanted. To. Go. Outside!!! … Continue reading Common Goldeneye Ducklings

Flicker kiss

Northern Flickers usually peck at the ground for insects (mmm, nutritious ant larvae!) but occasionally they peck at trees. They do excavate nest holes in dead or diseased tree trunks. However, I don’t think this male was excavating a nest. The tree trunk was riddled with little holes and the Flicker pecked the trunk in a few different places. He didn’t enter the large hole … Continue reading Flicker kiss