Saturday, 23 October 2010

Calm before the storm

Started off the morning at Holden Creek. Looking at the forecast, this might be my best chance to get any decent birding in before it gets all nasty...

I was pleased to see that the white-fronted goose and cackling goose flock was still in the near field. The lone snow goose present last week had moved on..
There were approximately 90 whitefronts and 60 cacklers; the viewing angle, and the birds' proclivity for feeding just behind the hedge, made an accurate count impossible.
Up to 300 green-winged teal were feeding out on the water-logged marsh. A handful of American wigeon and mallard were also there.

After a while, I took off to see what was happening round at the Raines Road end.
There was nothing notable among the mass of glaucous-winged gulls on the river, just a handful of mew gulls and the odd Thayers.
Both the juvenile and the male northern harriers were showing well, hunting over the marsh.

I could hear a northern shrike, chattering from the small trees in the meadow, but I couldn't see the secretive little blighter...
A single Wilson's snipe flew over.
Nothing much in the way of passerines around, just the usual juncos, song, golden-crowned and white-crowned sparrows etc. Although, a flock of cedar waxwings that briefly dropped in were the first I've seen here in quite some time.
Still no sign or sound of meadowlarks.
Checking last year's records, the first short-eared owls weren't seen on the estuary until November 1. So, I guess they could turn up any time in the next couple of weeks, depending to some degree on weather.

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