Tag Archive | carburn park

Sunday Showcase: Birds of Carburn Park and IBS

Bird and mammal photos taken by Tony LePrieur on September 11, 2016. The Wood Duck and Great Blue Heron were at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, and the rest were at Carburn Park.

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Osprey.

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Wood Ducks.

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Great Blue Heron.

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Belted Kingfisher.

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Wilson’s Warbler.

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Yellow-rumped Warbler.

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Merlin.

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Eastern Gray Squirrel.

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American Mink.

Do you have some bird photos you’d like to share? Send them to our email address and we may post them on the blog.

 

Sunday Showcase: Carburn Park, September

Photos by Tony LePrieur, taken at Carburn Park in Calgary on September 4-5, 2016.

Can you identify the warblers? Put your ID’s and reasons in the comments.

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House Wren.

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Fall Warbler #1.

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Fall Warbler #2.

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Fall Warbler #3.

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Fall Warbler #4.

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Least Flycatcher.

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Least Flycatchers.

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Great Horned Owl.

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White-tailed Deer.

August Birds of Calgary and Frank Lake

Here are the last of Tony LePrieur’s summer photos from the Calgary area for this year.

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Great Horned Owls, Fish Creek Park, August 12, 2016.

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Black-crowned Night-Heron (juvenile), Fish Creek Park, August 12, 2016.

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American Beaver, Fish Creek Park, August 12, 2016.

The remainder of the photos below were taken on the weekend of August 28, 2016, in Carburn Park and at Frank Lake.

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Cedar Waxwings (juveniles).

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Cedar Waxwings (juveniles).

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Downy Woodpecker.

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Western Grebes.

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Western Grebe.

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Solitary Sandpiper.

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Baird’s Sandpiper.

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American Avocet.

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Lesser Yellowlegs.

Sunday Showcase: Summer in Alberta, Part 3

Birds and Mammals photographed by Tony LePrieur on August 7, 2016 in Fish Creek Provincial Park and in Carburn Park in Calgary.

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Juvenile American Robin feeding on Chokecherries.

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Black-crowned Night-Heron (adult).

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Black-crowned Night-Heron (a first-summer bird, not yet in adult plumage).

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Eastern Kingbird.

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A wet Black-billed Magpie.

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Orange-crowned Warbler.

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White-tailed Deer.

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North American Beaver.

 

Sunday Showcase: Fish Creek and Carburn Parks

Some birds and Mammals photographed in Fish Creek Provincial Park and Carburn Park on the weekend of July 2, by Tony LePrieur.

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Yellow Warbler (male).

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Great Blue Heron.

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Gray Catbird.

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Franklin’s Gull.

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Ruddy duck (male).

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Another male Yellow Warbler.

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Mule Deer fawns.

Furry Friday: Tony’s Mammals

A selection of mammals seen in and around Calgary in the last few months.

All photos by Tony LePrieur.

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Coyote pair, Weaselhead, October 18, 2015.

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Porcupine, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, October 25, 2015.

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White-tailed Deer, Carburn Park, January 31, 2016.

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White-tailed Deer, Carburn Park, January 31, 2016.

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White-tailed Jackrabbit, Queen’s Park Cemetery, January 31, 2016.

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Coyote, Weaselhead, January 31, 2016.

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Meadow Vole, Weaselhead, February 27, 2016.

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Meadow Vole, Weaselhead, February 7, 2016.

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American Mink, Fish Creek Park, November 16, 2015.

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Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 15, 2015.

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Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 15, 2015.

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Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 16, 2015.

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And finally, a Feral Rabbit at Frank Lake, April 10, 2016.

Sunday Showcase: Residents, Winter Visitors, and Overwintering Birds

Tony LePrieur photographed these birds on January 30 and 31, 2016.

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Pileated Woodpecker (female), a year-round resident of Fish Creek Park.

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Downy Woodpecker (male), a resident of Carburn Park.

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White-winged Crossbill (female or immature), an annual winter visitor to Queen’s Park Cemetery.

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White-winged Crossbill (male), Queen’s Park Cemetery.

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White-winged Crossbill (female or immature), Queen’s Park Cemetery.

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Varied Thrush (male), an occasionally overwintering bird, Fish Creek Park.

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Varied Thrush (male), Fish Creek Park.

Winter Rarities at Carburn Park

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

The Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park (FFCPP) winter birding course began just after the new year, and once again there are many groups going out six days each week to one of Calgary’s parks to learn about the birds. For week #1 we went to Carburn Park, where a few rare (for winter) birds have been seen recently. Our targets included a Pied-billed Grebe, a Red-breasted Merganser, and a Double-crested Cormorant.

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Carburn Park route, January 10, 2016.

Dan Arndt was away on the first Sunday of the course (January 10) so I filled in for him as one of the leaders. At the start we went south from the parking lot to the Sue Higgins Bridge. There, as we looked for Killdeer and Barrow’s Goldeneye, members of a Nature Calgary outing pointed out a pair of Snow Geese just downstream.

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Immature (left) and adult (right) Snow Geese with Canada Geese.

Snow Geese are almost never seen in Calgary in Winter and hadn’t been reported from Carburn Park. However, we did have three, and adult and two immature birds, on the river at the Inglewood Golf Course in late December. Those three birds had been up on that stretch of the river for a while but had not been reported in the new year that I know of. These two geese at Carburn were likely the same ones, minus one immature bird. It may have been elsewhere on the river or perhaps it was predated or died for some other reason.

We did find some Barrow’s Goldeneye near the bridge as well. There are often quite a few in the Carburn Park/Beaverdam Flats section of the river.

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Male (left) and female (right) Barrow’s Goldeneye, with Canada Geese.

There were also some overwintering Killdeer on the ice at the river’s edge.

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Killdeer with Canada Goose.

As we walked back to the main park, we spotted this Merlin on a branch overlooking the river.

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Merlin.

Farther north we found a lone scaup. We debated whether it was a Lesser or a Greater, but not having a scope that day, we weren’t sure. Later, the Nature Calgary leaders told us that they were able to identify it as a Greater using their scopes.

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Greater Scaup (centre).

We saw a few Common Mergansers while we were watching out for the Red-breasted. Their bright orange-red bills really stood out, especially on the black and white males.

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Common Merganser (male).

The mergansers spent quite a bit of time looking for fish, which they did by dipping their heads down so that their eyes were below the water as they floated downstream. Occasionally, they would see something worth chasing and make a dive.

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Male Common Merganser scanning the river bottom for fish.

Towards the north end of the park we found the Pied-billed Grebe by the near shore. These birds almost never overwinter here but this one has been in Carburn for quite a while now.

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Pied-billed Grebe.

Finally, way at the far side of the river, we found the Red-breasted Merganser. It was quite a bit smaller and darker than nearby female Common Mergansers. Red-breasted Mergansers also have a very thin bill, which, at the distance we saw it from, was difficult to see at all.

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Red-breasted Merganser (at centre, on the other side of the ice).

Usually these birds are only seen in our area in small numbers on migration. (I didn’t see a single one in 2015.) Fall migrants can pass through as late as November or even early December, but seeing one in January is extremely rare here.

A nice surprise at the end of our walk was a small flock of about eight Cedar Waxwings. A few usually overwinter here every year, where they are overshadowed by vast flocks of Bohemian Waxwings.

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Cedar Waxwing.

We didn’t see the overwintering cormorant that day, but there were lots of good birds for a mid-winter day!

Dan will be back in this space soon with photos and reports from Bebo Grove and Votier’s Flats.

Fall Birding Course Begins – Carburn Park

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

The Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society Fall birding course began again on August 31, 2015. Many of our readers look forward to Dan Arndt’s posts every Monday with a narrative of the previous week’s outing accompanied by his outstanding photos of some of the birds seen. As usual Dan is scheduled to lead the Sunday morning group, one of the fifteen weekly outings that are needed to accommodate the 196 registered participants. However, work commitments will keep Dan away for many of the fall outings. With the help of Rose Painter and George Best, I will fill in for him when he is away.

I don’t usually carry a camera when helping to lead a group, but George does, and he is an excellent photographer as many of you know. I will try to summarize our walks and illustrate them with George’s photos.

For the first week of the course we went to Carburn Park, which had been a great spot for fall warblers in the weeks leading up to the start of the course. Many of the earlier-migrating species had more or less finished passing through Calgary by the beginning of September, but we hoped to see quite a few Wilson’s, Yellow-rumped, and Orange-crowned Warblers on our outing on September 6.

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Carburn Park walk, 6 September 2015.

We did see about 30 Yellow-rumped and possibly one Yellow Warbler, but none of the other warbler species. However, we did see huge numbers of birds of the river, including the largest concentrations of Common Mergansers and Double-crested Cormorants that many of had ever seen. (All photos by George Best.)

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A few Common Mergansers (55 by my count) and two Canada Geese.

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A Treeful of Cormorants.

We counted about 100 mergansers and 150 cormorants on the day. Most of them were concentrated at the north end of the park, just south of the Glenmore Trail Bridge over the Bow. This is the area that used to be the northernmost pond in Carburn park, before the flood of 2013 turned it into a major river channel, gravel bars, and an island. It is usually a very birdy part of the river.

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Double-crested Cormorants resting on a partially-submerged tree in what used to be the north pond at Carburn Park. The birds with light breasts are juveniles, hatched this year.

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Double-crested Cormorant in flight.

We also saw about 65 American White Pelicans in this area. They no longer go to the old weir in Pearce Estate to feed, and Carburn Park is about as far upriver as the big groups usually go. (The Sunday afternoon FFCPP group counted 106 pelicans that day, and an incredible 225 Common Mergansers!)

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American White Pelican coming in for a landing.

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A Pelican on the Bow River at Carburn Park.

Other highlights in Carburn Park in September are the usually-reliable Wood Ducks, often seen in the quiet channel between the big island and the river shore in the central part of the park, and raptors like Bald Eagles, Osprey, and Swainson’s Hawks. We saw three of each that day, as well as this Merlin:

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A Merlin scanning for prey. Merlins and Bald Eagles can be seen in this area year-round; Swainson’s Hawks and Osprey have already departed.

We counted 38 species of birds for the day, and three mammal species: the usual White-tailed Deer and Eastern Gray Squirrels, and a less-commonly-seen American Mink.

Next post: In week two of the course we returned to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary for the first time in over two years.

Sunday Showcase: Songbirds of Carburn Park

Carburn Park is a great place to find warblers and other songbirds during fall migration. Many species that pass through in the fall are not seen in Calgary in spring and summer, or seen in very small numbers. For many species of warbler the peak of migration is in mid-August. Some of the later-migrating warblers will continue to move through until late September (or much later in the case of Yellow-rumped Warblers).

Currently our native sparrows are beginning to migrate through the area.

Tony LePrieur photographed these birds on a visit to Carburn Park on August 23, 2015. Some of the ID’s are tricky so please correct me if I’m mistaken! -Bob Lefebvre

0S4A5237 -1Northern Waterthrush (::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 500|Shutter speed: 1/1000s|)

0S4A4608 -1Warbling Vireo (::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 100|Shutter speed: 1/800s|)

0S4A4706 -1American Redstart (::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 3200|Shutter speed: 1/800s|)

0S4A5248 -1Yellow Warbler (::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 200|Shutter speed: 1/1000s|)

0S4A5211 -1Philadelphia Vireo (::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 640|Shutter speed: 1/800s|)

0S4A4862 -1Empidonax Flycatcher species, probably Least Flycatcher (::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 450mm|ISO: 100|Shutter speed: 1/1000s|)

0S4A5189 -1House Wren (::Aperture: ƒ/8|Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II|Focal length: 600mm|ISO: 400|Shutter speed: 1/800s|)