On Saturday, upon finally having good weather after a long winter, the Friends of Fish Creek Park group went to Mallard Point to see what could be found on the river. There were seventeen people on the outing, which meant lots of pairs of eyes on the lookout for birds. We saw many of the usual species, but even so, one never tires of the quirks of bird behavior.
Black-capped Chickadee excavating a nest hole…
… and emerging with a beak full of sawdust.
Male Common Goldeneye declaring his love…
…and then a pair of Goldeneyes demonstrating how diving ducks have to run on takeoff.
Male Ring-necked Pheasant chasing the female all over the island.
And for some reason it always seems odd to see Canada Geese up in the trees:
They can’t be thinking of nesting on the picnic table, can they?
We were also lucky enough to see some returning migrants:
Franklin’s Gulls. The one on the right has a pinkish breast colour.
But the highlight was a rare bird sighting, a male Red-breasted Merganser. These are only seen in southern Alberta on migration, and not very frequently within the city. This was a life bird for about ten of us, and even Gus Yaki, the trip leader, said he had not seen one in Calgary for about five years.
Posted by Bob Lefebvre