Saturday, 27 March 2010

Tasty sandwichensis...

It was a touch cool & breezy down at the Nanaimo River estuary this morning, but there were at least a few more birds around.
Unfortunately, the gulls and ducks were, again, miles away so there was no chance to give them a grilling. So, armed with little other than a heap of optimism, I went for a trample around looking for migrants.
I was swiftly rewarded with views of my first savannah sparrow of the year (pic right). My starter for ten so to speak, as this is a very common species - just not so in winter.
A northern shrike was hunting from the scattered trees out on the marsh.
Then I heard the distinctive and delightful call, of what was a new patch bird for me. Yes, the evocative sound of the magnificent pheasant. Hmm.
Back to proper birds, and a few violet-green swallows were moving through, though an hour's bush bashing failed to reveal any other migrants.
A single female crossbill turned up and posed nicely for a while.

I decided to head around to Holden Creek for a peek. The fields by the creek were teeming with American robins - at least 100. And, not one, but two more northern shrikes were hunting from the barb-wired fence. A flock of 30, or so, violet-green swallows were feeding over the fields.
Only a few green-winged teal and a couple of mallard were out on the marsh. More crossbills and a couple of siskin were scooting around. A pair of red-tailed hawks were out hunting, or seeing off passing bald eagles, while a female northern harrier was being bothered by a raven.    

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