Inglewood is a must for any birder visiting Calgary and, if necessary, can be reached by bus and a short walk. It comprises a lake, scrub, marshy pools, streams and woodland, and lies on the banks of the Bow River. It is being extended but the new area was not open when we visited.
Currently the first area is open ground leading to woodland. This area is good for American Robin (at least six seen) and we saw our first Northern Flicker feeding beside the path. A Red-tailed Hawk circled over this area for a few minutes and Tree Swallows and Violet-green Swallows were seen around the entrance.
The path offers a choice of left or right, both leading alongside the main lake.We took the left trail and soon saw a female Red-winged Blackbird and heard (Western) Warbling Vireo. The woods were alive with bird song although it was very hard to actually see any birds. A Black-capped Chickadee showed well as did a male Baltimore Oriole.
The lake at Inglewood Sanctuary
The path lead over a bridge from where we saw another male oriole and a very bright yellow female. The lakeside bushes held Eastern Kingbird and displaying and calling male Red-winged Blackbirds. They may be common but they are fabulous to look at, watch and listen to. Violet-green Swallows were common over the water.
Over the bridge the path again offers a choice of left and right routes with a map board showing the whole reserve. This time we went right and soon saw a fine pair of American Kestrels sitting on a branch a few metres away. A bit further on we came across a calling Least Flycatcher and a pair of Yellow Warblers. The lake added Blue-winged Teal, Wood Duck and a pair of Canvasbacks.
Following the trail round took us to the edge of the Bow River. Common Mergansers (Goosander) floated on the water and a colony of Bank Swallows (Sand Martin) could be seen across the water. Overhead Franklin's Gulls flew past. A call from a bush by the river's edge led us to a House Wren.
Leaving the river we followed the path back into the wood that soon thinned out a bit. A Mourning Dove flew past and a Brown-headed Cowbird flew over and was soon seen singing from a nearby tree. Since most of the bird activity was high up we were looking in the right direction when a Swainson's Hawk flew over, soon followed by a Double-crested Cormorant, then a male Brewer's Blackbird.
The path again split and we followed it to the river's edge. Our in the river are a few small islands on which we saw California Gulls. A Belted Kingfisher flew past heading downstream and following this led us to a pair of Spotted Sandpipers. We then sat down to watch the river for a bit and had the pleasure of a Northern Flicker feeding on the ground about two metres from where we watched. (We saw three Northern Flickers here, all very much out in the open.)
Heading back to the entrance we again saw most of the birds mentioned above.
Just outside the entrance to the sanctuary we heard and saw a singing Clay-colored Sparrow.