Angie and I trekked to Okotoks, Alberta for Christmas. Her father also had flown in from Nova Scotia and we all stayed at Angie's brother's place with his family. It was their first Christmas all together in over 2 decades. But since this the "Rob and the Animals" blog, I'm here to share some animal encounters I had while exploring a wood lot not far from their home.
First off, it was cold, and I mean really REALLY cold! Don't accuse me of bringing that weather back to Toronto now.
Our trip was a very short one, I don't get that much time off work. While I really hoped we could explore some areas and hopefully see some western bird species, especially a Pygmy Owl, there just wasn't the time, it was just too cold and this was a family visit obviously.
My brother-in-law mapped me out a wood lot not too far off from their place, less than 15 mins walking distance, if I wanted to go out for a walk. I explored the area both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Angie and our sister-in-law joined me for part of them.
Here are the highlights from the outings.
Epic views of a Pileated Woodpecker. The bird was so focused on the tree that it did not care one bit about my presence. We have Pileateds in our area but I seldom see them and most times they are skittish and don't linger in decent range. So watching this guy beat the daylights out of the tree was awesome!
There was easily 100+ Common Redpolls about. We get these birds in our area some winters but not every winter. I think it's been 4 winters since I've last seen them and probably 6 years since we last had some visiting our backyard feeders.
Another treat was to see half a dozen or so red shafted Northern Flickers. We get yellow shafted here in Ontario.
I encountered a few Magpies but none were in decent range or open views for a photo. A common species out there that we don't get here. I was told some nickname them the "Prairie Pigeon".
Encountering Mule Deer in this wood lot was another highlight. We chanced upon 7 of them!
No I did not just throw a snowball at her face.
Apparently the Deer are very used to people here.
Is he sick of winter already?
The "Mule (Deer) Train". Ha ha!
It was great they adopted Tianna a couple years ago. She was quite entertaining to us all. Every home needs a furry family member, or two, or three.
Of course I had a great time with the whole human aspect to the trip. But this is my animal blog.
I look forward to another trip out there sometime and hopefully see some more of what Alberta has to offer in way of wildlife.
I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year's, are keeping warm and stick with me here through 2018 and what goes on.