Saturday, 20 November 2010
Swan fine day
A couple of days ago, there were 28 trumpeters and 1 tundra.
Today, there were 178 trumpeter swans and at least 12 tundra swans on the flooded field.
One of the trumpeters was a collared bird.
The variation in the bill patterns of the tundra swans is quite remarkable, some have no yellow at all, while others have clear loral patches.
One bird in particular actually looked more like a Bewick's (see the photo below).
It was encouraging to see many young birds and family groups, of both species.
There were good numbers of American wigeon, loads of mallards and common mergansers, plus a handful of shovelers.
I then headed round to the Nanaimo River estuary.
A few trumpeter swans and Barrow's goldeneye were on the river. At the estuary, at least 2 juvs and an adult male northern harrier put on a good show. A northern shrike was hunting from the hawthorns on the marsh.
A male slate-coloured darke-eyed junco was among a flock of regular birds. Incidentally, an individual of this form was at my feeders this morning too.