Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birding in Calgary AB

After being in BC for a week, and enjoying sunny, 78 degree weather in Banff National Park, Calgary was comparatively just another city. I must say I thought it would be nicer than it was, considering the oil boom and low taxes and low unemployment. We had two days in Calgary, hitting the Calgary Stampede along with the Calgary Zoo. We tried to bird the Isherwood Bird Sanctuary which was discussed in Stuart's Sitta Canadianis blog but my wife and son were being eaten by mosquitoes. We did not get to really bird the site very well, but from our short time there, we did not see much beyond birds that would be seen out East. 

Birds seen include:

Black Capped Chickadee (my fourth Chickadee Species on this trip... I should receive a medal or something!)
Black billed Magpie
Cedar Waxwings
House Wrens
American White Pelican (first in Canada... pretty cool)
American Wigeon  (or Baldplate... a rare duck for me...)
Wood Ducks
I photographed a bird that I figured could have been a Cassin's Finch... Could it be? I looked at the bar charts and this species was not even on it. Also Cassin's Finch has an eyering and this bird does not seem to have one. But, it just seems that Purple Finches that I've seen are more brown/white in the face, and this is clearly not a House Finch. Is anyone voting for Cassins?

The Calgary Zoo had some Hawks and Owls in Captivity that were interesting to see. Also, on my way to the airport, I think I saw a Swainson's Hawk perched on a wire as well as a Yellow Headed Blackbird, but I think my wife would have killed me if I stopped for a better look. Speaking of wanting to stop while driving, there is a Beautiful Bow River that meanders through Calgary, and there were small gravel/mud islands occasionally that were covered with gulls. I think I could have also seen a Franklin's Gull had I been able to stop.

Painful West Coast Misses:
Stellars Jay
Gray Jay
Varied Thrush (Heard but not seen)
Bullock's Oriole
Harliquin Duck
American Dipper

Well, this concludes my BC Trip!
Good birding,

1 comment:

  1. Too bad about Inglewood; there are better places in Calgary like Fish Creek and Weaselhead, but it's conveniently close to downtown... at least you got to see the pelicans.

    Great to catch up on the end of the trip! Blogger has not been updating well, recently. Worth waiting for, though. Magnificent scenery and some really excellent birds! Not bad at all for "incidental" birding!



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