Thursday, 12 August 2010

Raptor raptures

A leisurely trundle around the Nanaimo River estuary, Wednesday evening turned out to be quite rewarding.
The tide was quickly rising, pushing the waders from the shore onto the marsh pools and ditches. Goodness only knows what may have lurking, unseen, out there... As for the birds that were seen, the only waders included 4 lesser yellowlegs, 1 greater yellowlegs, 40ish least sandpiper and 1 western sandpiper.
It was quite a good evening for raptors though, with a juvenile northern harrier (my first here since May 17) hunting over the marshes, and a merlin patrolling the area (see vid). At one point the merlin piled into the long hedge and emerged with a small bird in its talons, within seconds a peregrine appeared and attempted to rob the smaller falcon of its prey. The merlin dropped the hapless victim, and the two raptors engaged in a game of cat and mouse before a raven joined in. The merlin cleared off, and the peregrine perched up allowing me to get the shots below.

As I came back through Cedar, approximately 40 common nighthawks were feeding over the road near the Cranberry Arms, a few were also over my house nearer the Yellowpoint junction.

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