View Fish Creek to Home via Bow River Pathway in a larger map
This route passes through a lot of Calgary's birding hotspots, mostly riverside poplar stands and some open grassland areas. Here's what I saw along with some photos.
The first birds to pop in to view were Rock Pigeons and House Sparrows, but I soon found a more interesting Brown-Headed Cowbird juvenile which was waiting for food from some unsuspecting host. A Northern Flicker was nearby and calling to its mate as it circled around a tall snag. I then headed to the creek, finding friendly Black-capped Chickadees as well as Downy Woodpeckers and a White-breasted Nuthatch. In the creek itself, this family of Common Mergansers were learning how to find food and navigate the swift water.
|"Hey Mom, what are you looking at?"|
|"Follow me kids!"|
|Is that Bigfoot? A UFO? The second gunman behind the grassy knoll? No, it's a Bank Swallow!|
|The Spotted Sandpiper worked out a lot better!|
At Carburn Park, there were Common Goldeneye and Chipping Sparrows to add to the list as I rode through and a Bald Eagle on the far bank of the river - they are always worth stopping for. Heading up the Western Headworks Canal, more sandpipers prowled the banks while a lone Hooded Merganser was hunting in the water and Cliff Swallows swooped under the bridges. Rejoining the Bow River at Pearce Estates, another small pond revealed Red-winged Blackbirds and Tree Swallows, and the weir improvements had a flock of Ring-billed Gulls.
That about wrapped up the day except for American Crows and remarkably the first Black-billed Magpies of the day, which I managed to ride 44.6 of 44.9 km back to my house without seeing! A surprising end to a relaxed day of birding and exercise.