Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Hermit saves the day

The appearance of some significant frost had me heading for Buttertubs Marsh once I'd dropped Jenny off at work. Working on the knowledge that water rails and Eurasian bitterns can be more readily seen in such conditions my optimism was on overload - well the high water levels had failed to produce the goods, so surely a bit of ice might entice a Virginia rail or American bittern out from the depths of the reedbed?
Nope, apparently not.
7 wood duck had reappeared, as had a few more mallard and hooded mergansers but otherwise it was pretty quiet waterbird-wise.
Checking the passerines around the edges, I was surprised to find a hermit thrush (in the brush by the river). Other more typical birds included a flock of bushtit and an Anna's hummingbird along with the usual varied thrushes, juncos, towhees, etc.

I then paid a visit to the Nanaimo River estuary where a short-eared owl and northern shrike soon put in an appearance. Again it was pretty quiet here, although the number of trumpeter swans had increased slightly with a number of birds along the river as well as out on the estuary.

A few stops by Quennell Lake failed to turn up much of note. Small numbers of American coot, ring-necked ducks, American wigeon, trumpeter swans, Canada geese, etc the only things seen.

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