Tundra Swans / Cygnus columbianus

Tundra Swans / Cygnus columbianus

Saturday, 18 April 2020: our temperature this morning is 0C (windchill -6C). Sunrise is at 6:33 am, and sunset is at 8:38 pm. It’s snowing lightly this morning.

The last time I went for a short drive was two days short of four weeks ago, on 23 March 2020. Since then, I did one quick drive out of the city to pick up a food order, but no driving around. No visits to parks or natural areas in many weeks, keeping to the ‘order’ to Stay Home. Flickr’s threat to terminate my account was really getting me down (I still have had no reply from them), plus seeing that so many people – more than usual – were still going birding, taking photos and posting them, was making staying home more and more depressing. Finally, yesterday, 17 April, I knew I just had to get out for a short while, in my car, no contact with anyone. I was so torn about whether to post any of the few, very uninspiring photos I took, not wanting to add to making it harder for anyone who is actually staying home all the time. Then that made no sense, as I realized that most people are already out there. I just hope I’m not making it more difficult for anyone, by posting a few odds and ends.

It was good to get a bit of fresh air with my car window down – something I hadn’t had for a few weeks! Driving a few of my usual roads, seeing wide, open spaces and the distant mountains felt good. I even saw a few birds, or perhaps I should say ‘bird species’, as the actual number of birds was amazing. Hundreds of Swans were migrating and, though distant, they were a delight to see. Other species included a Northern Shrike, a lone European Starling, Canada Geese, an American Kestrel, a few Mallards and Northern Pintails, and a probable Meadowlark. The funniest thing was when I suddenly spotted a darker spot on the ground, way across a field, and it looked almost like a badger. As I reversed to check it out, the badger flew : ) Thinking it must have been a hawk of some kind, I checked out a line of trees and was happy to find that it was a very distant Great Horned Owl. I had never seen one in this area before. No sign of any Snowy Owls, so I suspect they have all left and flown back up north.

Posted by annkelliott on 2020-04-18 13:14:00

Tagged: , Alberta , Canada , SE of Calgary , nature , wildlife , avian , ornithology , bird , birds , Swan , Tundra Swan , Cygnus columbianus , white , two , lying down , side by side , side view , field , stubble , snow , outdoor , 17 April 2020 , Canon , SX60 , Canon SX60 , Powershot , annkelliott , Anne Elliott , © Anne Elliott 2020 , © All Rights Reserved

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