Saturday, 28 November 2009

To Buttertubs and beyond...

Bit of a funny day today, cool and overcast with a threat of rain that never quite amounted to anything.
After dropping Jenny off for work this morning I had a trundle round Buttertubs Marsh as I was literally around the corner.
Not much doing really, though at least the water had subsided and a full circuit could be made. A few mallard had returned (yippee) and 7 hooded and 2 common merganser were on the water as were a pair of pied-billed grebe. A pair of American wigeon and 2 Canada geese flew in.
Amongst a throng of feeding passerines near the Jingle Pot end were 21 cedar waxwing and a handful of American goldfinch plus many red-winged blackbirds. An Anna's hummingbird came in to check me out too, landing about 20 inches from my head!

I then headed off to the Nanaimo River estuary where I had the pleasure of meeting Rich Mooney and his partner. Still no sign of the palm warbler although they had seen both yellow-rumpeds together which tends to make me think that perhaps the rarer bird has indeed moved through.
A short-eared owl was hunting all over the area and a northern harrier made an appearance while the northern shrike performed well as usual.

After leaving here I headed off to the Morden Colliery Park area, with the intention of having a look for suitable nearby hawk owl habitat (UK bloggers note: a bird was here for few weeks in early 09 and a rumour has surfaced that it may have spent the summer here too). There seemed to be a few good areas that looked likely but given where it was usually seen during its much-twitched residence last winter (a roadside hedge!) this particular owl's habitat preferences don't quite fit what the books say...

I returned to Buttertubs to kill half an hour before collecting Jen but, aside of stepping in some dog crap, the only notable difference from earlier on was the arrival of a flock of 30ish pine siskin.

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