Friday, 2 April 2010

Bad Friday becomes Reasonably Good Friday

Vile weather today. We were desperate to show Jenny's sister Chrissie why we chose to move half way across the world to live here (difficult under the circumstances; packed ferries from Vancouver to Duke Point, that we couldn't get on, and had to catch one to Victoria then drive up island in the rain and dark, a night of violent storms, the whole morning with no electricty, etc), so we elected to go for a walk to Jack Point. At least, we thought, we might have a little shelter there... and we did. The birding was crap however, with nothing of particular note taking shelter from the wind and rain.

Having enjoyed a leisurely, late lunch at the Crow & Gate pub, I'm still toying with the idea of a soggy, breezy, visit to the estuary. We'll see... *see below

So, in the meantime let's look at the mystery bird. Didn't fool anyone with that one, did I?
100% of participants, were in favour of what was quite clearly an American robin - until a last minute vote for spotted towhee fudged the figure. I assume it was some wag, having a laugh? Very good, have an extra point for that. If you genuinely thought it was a towhee - you really need to stop wasting your time looking at blogs like this, and more time reading your field guides.
So, to your left is the new one. Let's see what you make of this... enjoy!

*Late breaking news... 

Well, I succumbed to the call and headed of to the Nanaimo River estuary early evening. Dodging the wind-felled trees along Raines Road, I noticed a bunch of herons once again feeding in a field. One of these days I'll have to figure out just what it is these birds are eating. Oh, and someone's buckled, twisted trampoline was also in the field, having 'flown' in from somewhere...

Anyhoo - it was cold, wet and windy and I only found a single yellow-rumped warbler in half an hour's searching along the long hedge. I went over to the riverside and while I was scanning through the tree and violet-green swallows I heard a sound that made my brain yell 'greenshank' - my newly acquired bit of Canadian grey matter immediately corrected 30 odd years of Euro-doctrination and replied 'yellowlegs'! I looked round, and here they came; 5 greater yellowlegs, swiftly followed by another 4. Lovely.
By 7pm, I decided to head for a quick check of Holden Creek. A soggy juv. peregrine was sat up in a dead tree and a red-tailed hawk was cruising the fields. Another red-tailed was having a minor conflict with a female northern harrier over the marsh.
Checking through the Canada geese in the fields, I noticed 3 white-fronted geese among them. A drake Eurasian wigeon was dabbling with approximately 140 American wigeon and a handful of pintail out in the flooded fields.

When I got home I noticed my newly erected hummer feeder had a pair of rufous hummingbirds tending to it. My first of the year!

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