I was out walking by the Bow River today, close to my home in Cochrane, Alberta when I spotted this beautiful bird intensely focussed on his effort to dig something from an old tree. Even though I didn't have a long telephoto lens with me I did have the 70-200mm in my rucksack. I carefully dropped the bag and took it out before getting as close as I dare without scaring him away.
I've never seen one of these guys this far north and he really is at the very end of his range up here so it was an incredibly fortuitous sighting. At 16 to 19 inches tall he is a formidable bird and quite spectacular to see anywhere.
I watched him as he pursued his quarry for some time before he triumphantly pulled a huge nasty looking grub from the tree and swallowed it in a flash. It was a wonderful moment and one I was pleased to capture. I do have a whole series of shots from the first sighting to the last but thought I would just share the moment on the blog rather than flood it with images of birds....tempting though it was to do so.