With rain in the forecast I wasn't as adventurous this morning as I'd have liked to have been, choosing to do some birding a little closer to home. I checked out a couple small storm ponds nearby but other than red-winged black birds there wasn't anything terribly interesting. Red-winged blackbirds can be quite aggressive in defending their turf and I found myself being dive-bombed by one particular fellow before heading off into the bush. I did, however, manage a half-decent shot of a Brewer's Blackbird.
A little further along, I happened across a few trails behind some houses. Some thoughtful person had set up some bird feeders behind their property along the treeline and I spent several minutes watching some chickadees flutter about as well as a purple finch. Just as I was about to leave a Blue Jay caught my attention and I spent a few minutes tracking amongst the trees. This was a welcome sight as it had occurred to me earlier that I had yet to see a Blue Jay so far this season.
After trying in vain for several minutes to get a decent photo, I left the trail and continued along behind some houses to a road and a marshy area on the other side. This is an area I've been to a couple times before, but am only now beginning to appreciate. There are a number of beaver dams here and while I didn't see any beavers I managed to locate a breeding pair of Common Goldeneyes, a Mallard (which I can now add to my year list!), a Solitary Sandpiper, and what I think may have been Red-Breasted Merganser (female), though it was quite a distance off, even with my binoculars so I can't really be sure. The female Goldeneye is faintly visible in the photo below.
True, this may not be the most scenic of areas. The landscape doesn't jump out at you like a mountain, a waterfall or some other grand vista for which Alberta is known for, but it's a relaxing place to see. And I'm never disappointed when I head over there. There is always something interesting to see.