Tag Archive | canmore

Canmore Bird Walks, and Birds of Banff and Canmore

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Ethan Denton is an accomplished young birder who lives in Canmore, an hour west of Calgary at the entrance to Banff National Park. We have birded together and it has has been a pleasure to get to know him and his family. Ethan has had a blog for a few years already called Bird Boy. Although he is just thirteen years old, he has organized the Canmore Christmas Bird Count for the past two years. He also takes part in the Great Canadian Birdathon, and you can sponsor him at this page.

Lincoln’s Sparrow, April 27, 2017, West Banff Townsite. Photo by Ethan Denton.

Now Ethan has begun to lead birding field trips in Canmore every week. Every second Sunday morning, there will be an informal birding walk along Policeman’s Creek in Canmore. This is one of the best locations in Canmore. Ethan had recorded over 100 species there.

Below is the information poster. Use the scrollbar on the right-hand side to see the whole page.

Download the PDF file .

The next walk is on Sunday May 21. The walks are free and everyone (children included) is welcome. So if you are a Canmore-area birder, or an interested Calgary-area birder, please join Ethan and see some birds like these:

Wood Duck pair, Canmore boardwalk, April 9, 2017. Photo by Ethan Denton.

Pileated Woodpecker, Canmore boardwalk, March 18, 2017.  Photo by Ethan Denton.

Hammond’s Flycatcher, Canmore boardwalk, April 27, 2017. Photo by Ethan Denton.

Hammond’s Flycatchers are uncommon in Canmore in the summer, so an early spring record is almost unique. This is a bird we don’t see in Calgary.

Cassin’s Finch (female), April 27, 2017, West Banff Townsite. Photo by Ethan Denton.

Cassin’s Finch is only rarely seen in Calgary.

Ethan will post about each walk on his blog afterwards, so check back there to see what they have spotted and to see more of Ethan’s photos.

If you are out in the mountain parks this summer, note that there are also twice-weekly bird walks held at the Cave and Basin in Banff, run by the Bow Valley Naturalists. If you are out there on Saturday or Monday mornings, join them. Information here.

 

Birds of the Foothills, Spring 2017

Michael Kim, a thirteen-year-old birder and photographer from Canmore, has sent us some photos of spring birds in the foothills west of Calgary.

Trumpeter Swans, Exshaw, April 2017. Photo by Michael Kim.

Trumpeter Swans, Exshaw, April 2017. Photo by Michael Kim.

Pileated Woodpecker (male), Canmore, March 2017. Photo by Michael Kim.

Northern Flicker (male), Canmore, April 2017. Photo by Michael Kim.

Christmas Bird Counting Part 1

Posted by Dan Arndt

This year I’ve taken part in a few Christmas Bird Counts so far, and still have two more to take part in this coming week. I’m breaking this post up into two parts mostly because I don’t know if I’ll get too many photos on these next two counts, but also because I’d have far too many to do it all in one post if I do manage to get some this week!

On Tuesday, December 15 I took part in the High River Christmas Bird Count, which was fairly warm, but also turned up some good birds. Our area came up with 22 species in 8 hours, but I didn’t really have the best opportunities to take many photos. The only three that were really any good were a shot of a male House Sparrow, a possible Hoary Redpoll (still needing confirmation of that ID, as this is the only shot I have of the bird, and a hardy little Muskrat that was foraging along the Little Bow River Canal.

male House Sparrow

male House Sparrow

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Muskrat

Muskrat

::Aperture: ƒ/6.3|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 800|Shutter speed: 1/400s|

Hoary Redpoll

Hoary Redpoll

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1000|Shutter speed: 1/640s|

That following Saturday I headed out to my usual area for the Canmore Christmas Bird Count, up near the Highline Trail and around Quarry Lake. I expanded some of my search area this year along the base of Ha-ling Peak and around the very edge of the bottom-most series of Spray Lakes reservoir. Sadly we didn’t have quite the number of species (or even the number of birds) as we had last year, and a few reliable species were not to be found either, so it was a little bit of a disappointing turn out until later in the day. A little after noon we found a good number of our birds down in and around the spruce and pine trees in the Rundleview neighborhood.

female Elk

female Elk

::Aperture: ƒ/6.3|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1600|Shutter speed: 1/320s|

Mountain Chickadee

Mountain Chickadee

::Aperture: ƒ/6.3|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1600|Shutter speed: 1/400s|

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1600|Shutter speed: 1/640s|

Pine Siskins

Pine Siskins

::Aperture: ƒ/6.3|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1600|Shutter speed: 1/320s|

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

::Aperture: ƒ/6.3|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 160|Shutter speed: 1/320s|

A meandering drive home that afternoon ended up still missing out on a good number of additional species, but it was early to bed and early to rise for the Calgary Christmas Bird Count the following day, where we had a bit better luck. Once again we covered almost exactly 13 kilometers between 9 AM and 4:30 PM, and turned up the usual species, and while we had a couple of bonus bird species, the three we were specifically targeting, Purple Finch, Ruffed Grouse, and Northern Goshawk, were nowhere to be found. We did happen to find the only American Goldfinch found during the count, as well as a couple of definitive Hoary Redpolls, and of course had great looks at the Pine Grosbeaks, Common Redpolls and even a Northern Shrike made an appearance early in the day!

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 640|Shutter speed: 1/400s|

Common (left) and Hoary (right) Redpolls

Common (left) and Hoary (right) Redpolls

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1600|Shutter speed: 1/400s|

Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 800|Shutter speed: 1/640s|

Common Redpolls

Common Redpolls

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1600|Shutter speed: 1/640s|

male House Finch

male House Finch

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1600|Shutter speed: 1/640s|

Hoary (top) and Common (bottom) Redpolls

Hoary (top) and Common (bottom) Redpolls

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 1600|Shutter speed: 1/640s|

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: PENTAX K-5|Focal length: 500mm|ISO: 320|Shutter speed: 1/640s|

I hope your Christmas and New Year are just as happy as mine have been, and I hope to have many more birds to share with you in the New Year!

Christmas Bird Count – Canmore, AB

Posted by Dan Arndt

Canmore’s Christmas Bird Count is was held this year on December 15th, the day before Calgary’s. While I’ve lived in and around Calgary for almost my entire life, I’ve never really spent much time birding around Canmore. Hiking, mountain biking, and road-tripping, sure, but just looking for birds? Never before. Quarry Lake is also an area that I hadn’t ever set foot in, so it was an adventure to explore and learn more about the native birds to the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains.

My Canmore Christmas Bird Count area

My Canmore Christmas Bird Count area

The added bonus about birding in Canmore is the amazing scenery.

EEOR

EEOR, or East End of Rundle peak, just west of Canmore

Rocky Sunrise 2

Left to right: Princess Margaret Mountain, Mount Charles Stewart, Mount Lady Macdonald

 

My total area was about 1.5 square kilometers, and within that area I tallied up nearly 8km of traverses back and forth in the park, and up and down the streets of the adjoining neighborhood. I was fairly impressed too, with 14 species, including a couple that I would be very lucky to have on any Calgary list.

I did manage to get a few decent shots of some absolutely gorgeous birds in my morning out, and I hope you had as much fun on your Christmas Bird Count adventures as I have this year!

 

Boreal Chickadee

Boreal Chickadee

female White-winged Crossbill

female White-winged Crossbill

male White-winged Crossbill

male White-winged Crossbill

male Pine Grosbeak

male Pine Grosbeak

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker

Townsend's Solitaire

Townsend’s Solitaire