Posted by Dan Arndt
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is quite probably the most well known birding locale within the city limits. As a new birder, it was an old standby for me, and helped me learn more about birds, and photography, in my starting years than any other place in the city. In the summer, barely two weeks would go by between visits, but I never found much to see in the winters. This course with the Friends of Fish Creek has opened my eyes to many more places within the city limits, but this place is one of the best “stand-by” locations I know of in a pinch, and quite often has a wide variety of unusual or first sightings within the city during migration, but also throughout the year.
Last weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday. I joined the Friends of Fish Creek birding course to assist Gus Yaki. Both days I saw new birds for the year, and had some great sights of old favourites.
I’d definitely have to count among the highlights the Snow Goose I saw the first morning out. Though it wasn’t much more than a speck on the horizon, it was a new one for me. Nothing more than a recording shot of the sighting, but I loved it.
The Canada Geese were numerous on the river, but there were many new arrivals that were exciting to see, such as Northern Pintails, American Wigeons, and the first Ring-billed Gulls of the season.
Another of the great sights to behold was the beautiful male Harlequin duck, which had successfully overwintered on the open water at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. It seemed that it was very enthusiastic with its mate choices though, as it has been seen chasing a female Mallard or two occasionally.
A few other old standbys were on hand each day at the sanctuary. The iridescent and beautiful European Starlings, the nest building Red-breasted Nuthatches, the vocal and displaying Northern Flicker, and of course the charismatic and always enjoyable Richardson’s Ground Squirrels, poking their heads out for the first time this year.
Sunday added again to the rogues gallery of fauna on display, from the Greater White-fronted Goose on the Bow River north of the Sanctuary, to the much better views of Northern Pintail, along with Herring Gulls, and a juvenile Northern Goshawk making quite a show of it.
Another great week of birding! I’ll be back again this week to post the results of our excursion to Mallard Point yesterday, and the wonderful birds we saw there as well!