Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Be-Holden Creek

Spent an hour and a bit down at Holden Creek (the area of the Nanaimo River estuary shown to me by Mike Yip yesterday) early this morning. Of course, the tidal water levels were too high to be of any use for what few feeding waders might be around but it was still an excellent spot for some pre-breakfast birding.
Once again there were loads of ducks, though this time the many American wigeon were outnumbered by several hundred green-winged teal. Also present were plenty of pintail and mallard.
A single drake bufflehead came through but decided to keep going.
The sub-adult male and a juvenile northern harrier were quartering the marshes while the ubiquitous belted kingfishers were noisily rattling around the place. I managed a quick snap of one through my scope - hardly competes with Mike's superb pics but then we're using somewhat different equipment and I'm not as talented!
Small groups (or the same mobile flocks) of red crossbill were notable, while other common passerines included golden-crowned sparrow, juncos, house finch and song sparrow.
Bald eagles, ravens and great-blue herons were much in evidence.

Jen and I went for a wander round Hemer Park in the afternoon and although there were far fewer wigeon (30 or so) on the marshy pool than on previous visits, the following were noted: an impressive 27 gadwall, 3 northern shoveler, 4 ring-necked duck, 6 American coot and 8 hooded merganser plus a couple of pied-billed grebe.


  1. Hi Jon, it's Ray here... Belted Kingfishers ubiquitous... and here am I sitting at the computer in LMC between a 9oclock class of tired beauty therapists and a openly hostile group of electricians all of whom resemble the pictures on crimewatch! "What's maths got to do with electricity Ray?" Good question! What I really wanted to mention was that there were two Roe deer in the Freeman's Pool "enclosure" yesterday.. is this normal? Are you going to get any vis mig over there...apart from tourists that is? On a more scientific note, I have been trying really hard to get awful puns on the Aldcliffe site, but I think you have slackened off a bit with "Be-Holden Creek" unless I'm missing something ( is it a canadian version of HollyOaks or something? Perhaps it's from the bible. Who is going to write your column in the paper now? Enough rambling... the electricians await.... best wishes from Ray here in currently reasonably sunny Morecambe.

  2. Good to hear from you Ray. You're right, I think I left the punning side of my brain in Lancaster. I will try harder!
    The roe deer have been a bit of a fixture for about 15 months now, first a doe appeared and remained on her own until earlier this year when a buck showed up. Hopefully they will have done what deer do in the summer and there'll be a wee one in the early spring. I believe a third female arrived in recent months - were you able to determine the sex of the two you saw?
    Enough of deer, isn't it about time the owls were being sought of an evening? Will they return? How exciting!
    Good luck with the sparkies...

  3. The Roes were male and female. Yes, I agree about the owls... I will start looking..... the sparkies were very puzzled that the symbol for electric current was "i" and I can only agree with them. I think we won't bother with Henrys for now. With regard to the current punch-and-Judy politics on the LDBWS site, I must say that your responses to "dubious" sitings was always spot on... unlike that of some others. Best wishes from Ray