Unlike the multitude of American Kestrels we came across today, this handsome horse had no problem posing for a photo in the winds of southern Alberta.
Over the last few years I’ve had a few encounters with American Badgers but almost all were very brief and limited to seeing them scurry across paved highways in my travels throughout southern Alberta. Known for being very private with natal den sites and putting on an impressive display of attitude towards intruders; finding this den with 3 young of year last week was a rewarding encounter that was an exception to the norm. While she watched closely, the female allowed me to photograph a tender moment with one of her young.
Went back to the location of a Red Fox den that I photographed last spring and found the vixen to be in fine form and having 8 pups to take care of this year. While waiting at the den site, the vixen went hunting for about 40-45mins and came back with a mouthful for her little ones.
Explored a small local treasure today near Cochrane, AB. This gem of once privately owned land was set aside by the owner in the early 80’s in the interest of wildlife conservation. Being off the beaten path it sees very few visitors and under a warm chinook sky it was a nice quiet getaway for a few hours this afternoon. Late in the afternoon we came across a group of Ruffed Grouse including this male that was strutting his goods and letting the others know who’s the boss in his area of the woods.
It was a short walk last week to check on some Great Horned Owls on county land just outside west Calgary. After seeing the young owls were doing fine, a walk through what looked like your average field of grass/shrubs revealed on closer inspection to contain a gorgeous small flower called Starry False Solomon’s Seal.
Over the years the Red Fox has been one of a few critters that have been a challenge for me to find and obtain decent photos. On top of personal efforts, reminding friends and colleagues to keep their eyes and ears open about den sites eventually paid off this spring with a den site being located not too far from my home in west Calgary. The landowners at the site were very welcoming, shared their experiences and were quite willing to put up with some strange guy laying in their horse pasture for a few hours at a time. Now being there when the foxes were out exploring their surroundings was all that needed to happen. After a few visits, the wind was on my side yesterday and after laying in the field watching Swainson’s Hawks fly overhead and photographing a few spring flowers, 2 of this years young ventured from the den for a few moments. While one was cautious and held back at the entrance to the den, the other made its way through the grass and stopped briefly allowing this photo.
Managed to capture a few signs of spring today. This male Mountain Bluebird sat on a rusty fence wire which made its striking blue color stand out even more than usual. The day also included some Great Horned Owl chicks and one very nervous Canadian Goose hunkered down on a nest. A brief sighting of a Red Fox today will hopefully become the subject of a future post, fingers crossed on obtaining good pics in the near future.