Saturday, 30 October 2010

Pretty birdy morning.

It was a bright morning, and the hunters were thin on the ground, making my visit to the Nanaimo River estuary rather enjoyable.

One of the first birds I saw was the northern shrike, sat in the large oak. There were lots of juncos, song sparrows, and golden-crowned sparrows in the vegetation around the area. A small flock of chestnut-backed chickadees had, sadly, failed to attract any transient warblers or similar.
A single Lincoln's sparrow was in the large hedgerow.
From the platform, I could see a single mute, and a pair of trumpeter swans, plus large rafts of American wigeon out on the water. A gathering of some 62 bald eagles was quite impressive.
At least 3, probably 4, northern harriers, including a male, were seen hunting over the marshes. A large Cooper's hawk flew through and an adult peregrine spooked the wildfowl over the estuary.
Met Ralph Hocken, who was getting some superb shots of the harriers. As always, it was good to stop and have a chat with Ralph - I eventually left him to his photography, and headed off to Holden Creek for the high tide. 

The goose flock was still present in the near field, comprising 116 cackling and 96 greater white-fronted.
The male American kestrel was still hunting around the fields (see rubbish video below). Might this bird stick around for the winter? A further couple of harriers were seen - presumably two of the same as seen earlier.
Large numbers of green-winged teal were dabbling out on the marsh, along with a handful of wigeon.
3 killdeer flew over.

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