Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Straight to the Point

Managed a quick scan from the house this morning before heading off into Nanaimo to (finally) buy a car - having test driven every piece of junk and otherwise from Duncan to Parksville (something of an exaggeration there, but that's what it's felt like).
Two rhinoceros auklet (1 distant, 1 close) plus a pair of marbled murrelet were the highlights. A handful of pigeon guillemot and 4 common murre (guillemot) could also be seen along with the usual common (great-northern) and Pacific loons (divers), horned (Slavonian) grebes, harlequin ducks, buffleheads etc. The large raft of surf scoter seem to have moved on leaving just a couple of birds, plus a drake white-winged (velvet) scoter.
2 otters were showing well around the jetty.

Later in the afternoon I took the lovely new motor for a spin to Jack Point, a place I'd not yet visited.
From the pathway I could see up to 8 trumpeter swans over at the Nanaimo River estuary and hear an awful lot of shooting.
It's a public holiday here in Canada in honour of Remembrance Day. I hope I wasn't the only one who could see the irony in commemorating an anniversary of war dead by going out and killing things with guns...
The walk to the point was pretty quiet, just a notable flock of around 60 juncos - with a few hangers on (kinglets, wrens, chickadees) - and 50ish robins to sift through.
Off the point there was a single Brandt's cormorant, plus the commoner double-crested and pelagic cormorants, 4 marbled murrelets, good numbers of red-breasted merganser and other expected species.

Despite the rain I decided to pay a quick visit to Holden Creek, but all was quiet. The juv northern shrike put in an appearance, I heard but didn't see a snipe and the distant wildfowl was just not playing ball. An otter came by again and 2 trumpeter swans flew over.

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