Literally! After a family emergency and a persistent out-of-season cold I managed to get out again for the first time since the May species count day. As usual it was a short after-work bike ride that did the trick and I headed down to Edworthy Park, then back along the south side of the river, through Lawrey Gardens. There is a decent size colony of Cliff Swallows under the pedestrian bridge at Edworthy. It was fun to stand on the bridge and have them swoop just a few meters away, although the best views of the nests were to be had from the riverbank (or what's left of it during this peak meltwater time).
|Under the bridge - nests visible through the upper circle and at the top of the frame|
|Zooming in - Cliff Swallow, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota, in centre|
|and zooming in again (a bad digital crop)|
As I was biking along a few hundred metres west of Crowchild Trail there was flash of gray across the trail and, as I screeched to a stop, a Gray Catbird alit on branch by the trail and then disappeared into the undergrowth. It turned out to be a pair and a likely nest. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given their proximity to the busy bike path, they were quite relaxed and cooperative and I had great views and managed to get a couple of decent shots in the shady undergrowth.
|Gray Catbird, Dumetella carolinensis|