Friday, 23 March 2012

2 Days, 20 Minutes, 2 Calgary Lifers

This was a going to be a quiet bird week, filled with parent-teacher interviews and other end of term craziness.  However on Thursday morning I found myself running an errand in the Foothills Industrial Park, just a couple of blocks from where a Harris's Sparrow has been periodically reported over the winter.  Figuring that a quick detour couldn't hurt, I drove past the location and, unlike my previous visits, found the bird almost immediately singing from the middle of a bush.  Using my glovebox "backup binoculars" I took a few minutes to enjoy this new life bird (also picking up first-of-the-year American Tree Sparrows) before carrying on with my day.

Early this evening, as I was getting ready to pop out to run some errands, I checked Albertabird only to find that a Barred Owl had been spending the day in a front yard in Bayview, a Calgary neighbourhood on the south shore of Glenmore Reservoir.  Quickly grabbing camera and binoculars and mentally remapping my errands, I ran out of the door very thankful for daylight savings time.  Arriving at the posted address I found a small but growing group of birders and my life Barred Owl.
The crowd...
...and more impressively, the Barred Owl, Strix varia
Among the visiting birders were Russell Cannings and Jeremy Kimm, in from BC and fresh off finding a Lesser Black-Backed Gull at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary earlier in the day.  I also bumped into Bob Lefebvre and Dan Arndt from Birds Calgary who will likely post their own images and information shortly.  I should also mention that Ian Maton posted some much better photos than mine on his Flickr photo stream (perhaps he remembered his tripod - doh!)

Lastly many thanks to the patient and generous homeowner who made the information public, and happily kept company with an assortment of strangers on their lawn through the afternoon and evening.  A great lesson in the importance of birders and photographers being courteous and respectful in their pursuit of sightings.

I updated this post shortly after making it, to include this crop out of a much larger image.  For some reason it struck me, in its weird "impressionism", as capturing the peacefulness of the bird as it seemed utterly content with us just a few feet away.

No comments:

Post a Comment