Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A Tale of Three Warblers

As the typically British autumn weather continues, so does my frustration! It seems to have rained non-stop for ages and I just haven't had the enthusiasm to drag myself around the estuary in the continual drizzle.
Until today, that is. Simply fed up with trying to find something interesting out on the sea from the condo (how quickly one gets tired of looking at the divers, grebes, harlequins and buffleheads that are a constant presence!) I decided on a soggy trek to my new patch.
Despite the pretty foul weather, a dog-walker and two hunters were enjoying the delights of the Nanaimo River estuary when I got there. I chose to try and relocate the warblers as my primary reason for being there and spent a good half hour scouring bushes and pishing in the wind.
Eventually my optimism paid off and I heard the distinctive call of a yellow-rumped warbler. Raising my bins I found the culprit in the nearby hawthorn - the 1stw bird, then to my surprise the very bright, well-marked bird with the extensive yellow throat appeared too. That solves my conundrum about that mystery warbler! I need to look into this, is it an adult in winter plumage? Or a very, very bright juv? I wish my books had arrived from the UK... apparently all our stuff's delayed in transit and might not even be here in time for Christmas. Great. Oh well, there's always Google images...
Anyway, then came another call and the palm warbler popped up giving superb views down to a few feet. Nice.
Given the conditions I think it's unlikely that'll be going anywhere too soon. I'd expect a south-bound migrant in need of re-orienting itself would need to wait until a relatively clear, calm night before traveling too far.

Bird-wise it was otherwise a total wash-out, although I was delighted to watch a group of 4 river otters haul themselves out of one the small pools just near the viewpoint, and join another 4 on the bank where all 8 proceeded to roll around together. Now, you don't see that in Britain very often...


  1. (how quickly one gets tired of looking at the divers, grebes, harlequins and buffleheads that are a constant presence!) Jon, you've become spoilt - just think waht it would be like if most of those had been swimming down the Lune!!

  2. How many Canadians does it take to change a light bulb?
    One.... you can never find another Canadian for miles!
    This gem of wit from Ray. Are boobtubers, eeyores and Kikis now spreading throughout that famous Canadian Shield?