Friday, 11 December 2009

Ice, ice baby

Jenny's been working up in north Nanaimo for the past few days and so I've been stranded, car-less, at Yellow Point. Haven't even been able to find a decent second-hand bike to get about on... consequently, I've been wandering around the local area desperately trying to find some birds to look at.
The past three mornings I've checked out Roberts Memorial Park (the beach bit, complete with small flotilla of wigeon, pictured above) but as is typical of forests in winter, it's been pretty quiet. The occasional varied thrush, golden-crowned kinglets, chestnut-backed chickadees and winter wrens have hardly enthralled and the constant sound of tooting red-breasted nutchatches is now too familiar to solicit much interest.

Walking the 2.5km of road between the park and the condo has actually been more productive, though only slightly!

Yesterday I had ace views of a ruby-crowned kinglet that had unzipped its astonishing scarlet head stripe, only the second time I've actually seen the, usually concealed, crown on this species! Presumably this bird had fluffed out its feathers to trap air, in an effort to keep warm in the freezing conditions and thus it's crown was revealed.
Both downy and hairy woodpeckers have shown well along the roadside and good numbers of red crossbill and pine siskin are regularly heard and seen.
While checking the slightly thawed edges of a large pond, inhabited by a group of mallard and 2 hooded mergansers, I noticed a mink working its way around the water's edge and bank. I think that might be the first I've seen on the island.

Offshore, the only notable change has been a minor influx of American wigeon, doubtless escaping whichever frozen lake they had been on previously.
Otherwise, the usual cormorants, buffleheads, loons, grebes, surf scoters, goldeneyes etc, and a lone pigeon guillemot, were all present.

Things area little milder today, even the hummingbird feeder wasn't frozen solid this morning. Not that I've had any hummers anywhere near it since I put it up a couple of months ago...

1 comment:

  1. It seems the old rule is true.... it is better to travel than to arrive... or something a bit more euphonious. And what would be more euphonious than a Gretsch semi-acoustic?...says Ray over in good old England, England.
    I only add the 2nd England because there might well be a place called England in Canada or the USA. Like Paris, Texas.