After a day off following our trip to the east coast, we took
advantage of a mild spell in Calgary before the expected first wintry spell of
the year. Brian, Mike and Phil spent the morning NW of the city looking mainly
for owl species more readily found in winter. It was a bright, crisp morning,
and birds were few and far between. However, about 3 km SW of Water Valley Mike
spotted a Northern Hawk Owl atop a broken poplar. Our 100th bird
species! As we watched, the bird flew to a lofty perch on a spruce tree, from
which it made several powerful falcon-like flights into the forest in search of
prey, an awe-inspiring sight.
Other hoped for owls were not in evidence today, and we had
to be satisfied with a flock of Mountain Chickadees and a distant Moose as the
only other additions to our count.