Thursday, 14 January 2010

Spring birding on the horizon...?

When I was back in dear old Blighty, I used to get a bit cheesed off as autumn approached and the nights began to draw in.
Well, it's not because I suffer from Seasonal Adjustment Disorder, or whatever it's called, it was simply because it meant that with a full-time job to confine me during daylight hours I was restricted to birding at the weekends.
In fairness, working in the coastal town of Morecambe meant that I was able to take my near daily pre-work and lunchtime visits down the Jetty but nonetheless, my post-work trawls around my beloved Aldcliffe were put on hiatus until spring.

I was thinking about this today as I considered my position from a modern office block with limited window access in downtown Nanaimo, but before I got too disheartened I realised that in even a relatively short time since taking full-time employment in Canada (for which I am very grateful) I had still managed to spot Cooper's hawk, peregrine, Brewer's blackbird, glaucous-winged gull and, er, pigeon from my workplace. And today I even noticed a soggy ruby-crowned kinglet flitting from one side of the car park to the other. So, it's not all bad eh?

I imagine that once the weather gets a bit better and birds start heading north again I'll find myself legging it down to the harbour for half an hour or so most days, just to see what's moving through. The prospect is quite exciting and this is the sort of thing that makes birding in BC so exciting for me - the relative unknown!
What will I encounter?
Will there be migrant passerines lurking in coastal vegetation?
Will there be a marked movement of gulls?
Do large numbers of turkey vultures pass along the coast?
What kind of visible migration takes place here?
See? I'm already cured of my S.A.D. and eagerly looking forward to lighter mornings and nights and drier, birdier lunchtimes...

ps - 3 American tree sparrows were reported from the estuary today.

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