Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Holden Creek & Nighthawk hunt

Monday evening after work, I headed to Holden Creek, inspired in some part by Guy Monty's posting on the local birding forum that "...on the mudflats, were about 20 Least Sandpipers. Geez, the start of fall migration already!"
Well, as I dodged the mozzies, I was able to confirm that no post-breeding shorebirds had chosen the Holden Creek area for their summer destination. Just a few spotted sandpipers, very noisy and presumably with hatched young somewhere, kept me company.
At one point a cliff swallow started alarm-calling, setting off all the other hirundines. Scanning around for the cause of this unrest, I couldn't see what was upsetting them, A good 15 seconds later, a peregrine came hurtling through - by the left, those little swallows don't half have good eyesight... just count 15 seconds and see how long it is, then consider how far away that falcon must have been when first spotted!

Later, Jenny and I went out to Quennel Lake to see if I could find any nighthawks feeding over the waters. I didn't. We waited until 10pm, and what few swallows had been feeding over the lake had long gone, leaving clear skies for foraging nighthawks. Saw plenty of beavers though... and two female wood ducks with their collective, very young, broods.    

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