Late Autumn Birding in the Calgary Area – 2017

Black-capped Chickadee

Ahhh, autumn birding…I love it! Those who have followed my posts the past few years will know my love of autumn and the lush, saturated yellows and reds that it brings to Calgary’s parks and gardens. Not only does the city look marvelous, but so do the birds against these colourful backdrops, making for excellent autumn birding.

White-breasted Nuthatch

 When a park looks like this (Carburn Park, in east Calgary. Photo taken with my cellphone):

Calgary’s Carburn Park in full autumnal splendour

All you have to do is find the birds and you should be rewarded shots that are little more appealing than usual:

American Robin

During one visit to Carburn Park I came across a newly-fallen tree (that appeared to have been blown over during one of the very windy days we have had lately) that was something of a magnet for the local wood peckers including this Downy Woodpecker:

And a collection of Northern Flickers:

An unexpected highlight was a lone Palm Warbler mixed in amongst a flock of chickadees. If not for the incessant tail-bobbing I would have dismissed the Palm for a much more common Yellow-rumped Warbler:

I also managed to get some close looks at a Pied-billed Grebe which was constantly submerging and re-surfacing some distance away as it presumably searched underwater for food:

On another weekend excursion, this time west to the foothills of Kananaskis Country, my unsuccessful quest to find rutting bull moose was somewhat rescued by finding several Spruce Grouse hens:

along with a lone male:

 Autumn also means the tail-end of the major southerly migration of summer migrants and as such there are still a good number of gulls, thrushes and waterfowl about (a few will over-winter), such as this Bonaparte’s Gull:

Hermit Thrush:

And this pair of Wood Ducks that were serenading each other:

The results of which appeared to be satisfactory to the hen 🙂 :

Other ducks include Gadwalls:

Northern Shovellers:


and the ever-handsome Hooded Merganser:

On one particular morning I attempted to locate & photograph some 30 migrating Rusty Blackbirds that had been reported earlier in the week. However, by the time the weekend had rolled around and I could head out there were only a handful left, but one is better than none!:

And, finally, as I was looking for more ‘Rusties’, I ran across this fine lady – a female Pileated Woodpecker plucking berries from a bush:

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8 Responses to Late Autumn Birding in the Calgary Area – 2017

  1. Jean says:

    Great shots, there!

  2. Ursula Krol says:

    Awesome photos !!!

  3. Tim Hopwood says:

    You are very welcome Gilda, glad you liked them!

  4. Tim Hopwood says:

    Thanks Wanda – always happy when folks enjoy the pics; I definitely enjoy taking them!

  5. Rosie LaLonde says:

    Fabulous pictures!

  6. Gilda says:

    WOW! These are fantastic photographs. Thank you very much!

  7. Wanda Todoroff says:

    Just stunning pbotography! I truly enjoy your posts!