Saturday, 24 April 2010

Not so quiet on the Western front

I really need to spread my wings, so to speak, if I'm gonna catch up with any other stuff than that which frequents the estuary - at this rate, I could go all year without seeing a whole bunch of island birds...

Anyhoo, off to the Nanaimo River estuary I trailed this morning, and despite a good scour around, I was unable to discover anything too exciting.
Highlights included watching a merlin mobbing the adult female northern harrier, and seeing another 4 purple martins (2m 2f) joining the other common swallows. Incidentally, all common species of hirundine were present, tree, barn, violet-green, northern rough-winged and cliff.
A group of 6 least sandpiper flew low over, heading toward the Holden Creek area.
8 white-fronted geese were seen flying back and forth a couple of times.
The mighty cock pheasant was singing his delightful song from the fields.

A check-in at Holden Creek was next, and things looked a bit bleak. A lone greater yellowlegs was still on the channel as were a pair of copulating killdeer. Then I noticed a small calidrid on the muddy edges of the creek. It was a lone western sandpiper - my first at this site, and hopefully the vanguard of more to come.

Before I went to gather Jenny from the world of Elvis costuming, I popped into Buttertubs Marsh for a quick peek. There were lots of yellow-rumped warblers around, all those seen were 'Myrtle'. Got great views of a couple of common yellowthroats too.
A pair of wood duck were kicking around.

Early evening, we took a wander around Hemer Park. Wildfowl included ring-necked duck, hooded mergs, bufflehead and 3 wood duck on the pool. 'Pacific' wrens were singing all over the forest, as were varied thrushes. We came across yet more YR warblers were in a large feeding group.  Oh, and we came across a fine looking green frog.

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