Birding Canal

You just never know where you’re going to find birds.

One warm October afternoon, I decided to walk the dog along the irrigation canal. During the summer, this canal is full, as water is channelled from the Bow River to agricultural fields east of the city. It is drained each fall. At this location (Ogden Road & 50 Ave SE), it is bordered by trees on one side, and parallels the Bow River.

Fall irrigation canal

Fall irrigation canal

Once the canal is drained, you can see floating mats of vegetation left behind, that look like they should be full of bird goodies.

Floating mat of vegetation, and a ring-billed gull

Ring-billed Gull checking it out.

Walking down the bike path that borders the canal, I was delighted to see some very late fall migrants poking around in the mud.

Juvenile great blue heron

Juvenile Great Blue Heron

Lesser yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Also checking out the canal were a Solitary Sandpiper, two Killdeer and numerous Mallards. Overhead, there were Rock Doves, Canada Geese, Common Goldeneyes, European Starlings, and another late migrant, a Red-tailed Hawk. Not a bad count for someone who wasn’t birding!

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