A pair of mountain bluebirds were flitting around a bird house west of Calgary a few days ago. They caught my eye when I was driving past the farmland on the way to my daughter’s dance studio. I stopped for a few minutes, watching as they appeared to be moving into their summer home.
Less than a couple of weeks ago, it was close to -30ºC and there was a thick layer of snow across the prairies. A couple of days ago it was just above 0ºC with only small patches of snow left on the fields near Mossleigh. I spent the afternoon on the backroads to see what I could find. Snowy owls were nowhere that I could see so I suspect the majority have now headed north. Wedges of Canada geese flew overhead steadily as the sun began to sink lower. These were joined by the occasional small bevy of swans which were great to see and I will share some of those pictures soon.
Early in the afternoon a blur of blue zipped past where I was photographing a stormy cloudscene to the east. A mountain bluebird landed on a barbed wire fence a few metres away and quickly flitted around the posts and in the tall grass for a few seconds. This male was joined by two others and two females and they flew off across the road and quickly out of sight across a field. These birds are usually early spring migrants so I took it a definitive sign that winter’s grip is releasing now.