Startled by Wildlife in Urban Parks

Until last year, I never paid any attention to birds, except for a trip to Brackendale Park in British Columbia to see bald eagles.

Red-wing blackbird. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary Park. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong

I just miss seeing the red cardinal bird that’s frequently found in southern Ontario, but not in Alberta.  Or the blue jay bird which seems to be rarer on the prairies. I have memory when cycling to

Broken bird eggshell along walking trail. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary Park. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong

work over 18 years ago, by the Toronto Beaches area along Lake Ontario.  There were brilliant bright yellow plump bird flashes among the lakeside tall grasses. Perhaps they were warblers or finches of some sort. Alas, I never stopped to look hard.

Male mallard duck with female partner diving for food. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong.
Young deer with molting fur. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Now, it not as if I’ve become an avid birder creeping through the bush with binoculars. We don’t even have a set.  It’s just acute awareness of creatures flitting or fleeing by, a chorus of different birdsong and chatter, or a beaver dragging itself out of the water with its heavy paddle tail.

Beaver dragged itself out of river less than 5 metres away. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Female common merganser. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Her male partner, common merganser. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong

I was nearly freaked out when brown wet beaver plopped itself less than 5 metres away to chomp away on a large tree limb. Beaver never ran away.  I might as well have been a concrete bench to the beaver.

Goldeneye duck. Arched backward is a courting gesture to females. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Deer executing a mini-jump. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Same for the wild deer munching on wild grasses in Inglewood Park. Thankfully they were lightly controlled by a loose fence away from walking trails and sapling trees which were chewed up by hungry deer. I like deer but just to look, not to feed them.

Tree swallow. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Female wood duck. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong

Best times for us, have been in late afternoon into evening.  The light is softer and sometimes there are less people. After a long work day, occasionally I’ve found calmness by listening to sprightly wild bird trills scattering the wilderness peace.  Sound droplets on air.

We tread lightly, listen and look.

Chickadee. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Muskrat. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong
Red-wing blackbird among cattails. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Calgary AB 2018. Photo by J.Chong.

Left-hand /banner large photo:  Northern Flicker bird, spotted at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.

 

 

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. pmathews13 says:

    Beaver’s medicine brings you the wisdom of creativity, maintaining the ability to be productive in all ways by not limiting your options, being persistent, using available resources, finding and using alternate ways of doing tasks, master builder of all things, not damming the flow of experiences in life, achievement through completion of tasks, understanding the dynamics of group work, protecting, cooperation, fertility and new promise. ( source: http://www.shamanicjourney.com/beaver-power-animal-symbol-of-group-mind-master-creator-and-builder). When I see a particular animal – when it somehow enters my consciousness, I like to look up the significance. You’ve see so many but the beaver stood out. What a lovely post.

    Like

  2. Beautiful photos! Did you bring a field guide with you to the bird sanctuary? I went to one in Chicago and we saw lots of cool birds but I wished I had a field guide so I knew what I was looking at.

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    1. Jean says:

      No, I looked up the birds afterwards…which means taking enough photos for later identification. There’s a local birding group which I’ve emailed to help identify certain species.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marta says:

    It looks like a very relaxing place. Would love to have something like that here! And I would be so excited to see a wild beaver in the flesh, he he.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      The park itself is an ordinary looking park with woods. One just has to be alert and then, you never know what you might see after an hr. or so. In your part of the world, maybe there’s certain wildlife that might hang out in the woods?

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  4. Lani says:

    You were in nature heaven! It is such a blessing to look around and notice all the little creatures and critters going about doing their thing. I usually get a thrill when I see something – as long as it’s not the common pigeon.

    Great photos, Jean!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      I agree. Those urban pigeons can be annoying. Fat scavengers. We went to a huge bird sanctuary 2 wks. ago. Unfortunately for unknown reasons, 50+ photos didn’t record on the camera. 😦

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      1. Lani says:

        Ugh. That sucks.

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  5. Sue Slaght says:

    The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a marvelous place. Wonderful to be surrounded by nature within a city. Your description of the beaver coming so close and not noticing you is astonishing Jean! What an experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      The beaver visit was startling.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant shots, Jean– you just keep getting better and better! The wood duck was my favorite. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      There is also the mosaic duck which is another colourful different northern hemisphere duck also.

      Like

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