Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Shortie but sweet

5 trumpeter swans were in fields adjacent to Quennell Lake in Cedar this morning.

A mixed flock of red crossbill and pine siskin were showing very well by the condo while a raft of approximately 130 Pacific loons were offshore here.

Paid a quick visit to Holden Creek mid-morning where the highlights included a 1st winter northern shrike, 5 killdeer and 12 dowitchers.
I am assuming that these birds are long-billed as the only call I have heard certainly belonged to that species, although I haven't heard anything from this particular group recently - am I correct to assume that long-billed is also more likely this far north so late in the autumn?

I spent quite a bit longer at the Nanaimo River estuary area at Raines Road where an adult northern shrike was busy doing the rounds. Two juvenile northern harriers showed up and gave excellent views in the bright sunshine.
A short-eared owl emerged from wherever it had been roosting and also showed well - it was mobbed intermittently by both ravens and gulls.
A group of 20+ dunlin flew by in the distance with a couple of black-bellied plovers in tow.
Other regular stuff included belted kingfisher, common merganser, American wigeon, pintail, bald eagle etc.

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