Wednesday, 23 December 2009

All good on the Western front

With my newly rediscovered freedom, I managed a quick visit to the Nanaimo River Estuary this afternoon but it was under siege from some pre-Christmas hunters.
Nonetheless a short-eared owl was unconcerned and showing well. I didn't see any shrikes or harriers, though.
50+ trumpeter swans were present and a 150 or so dunlin were at the estuary mouth with 7 black-bellied plover. A few gadwall were in with the pintail, mallard and American wigeon.
A dozen red-winged blackbird were sat up in the hawthorns but passerines seemed pretty thin on the ground in general. A 1st year red-tailed hawk made an appearance and about 6 bald eagles were kicking around.

I dropped by at Holden Creek but that too was pretty quiet, bar a couple of hundred green-winged teal and a few wigeon. A drake hooded merganser came by and 2 killdeer were in the nearby fields. 4 crossbill chipped overhead.

Back at the condo I noticed a Western grebe offshore - not a regular bird here since I've been at Yellow Point. As you can see I managed to photograph it badly. As ever.