Monday, 13 December 2010

Out For The Count

Sunday, I was blessed with dry weather for my Coastal Waterbirds Survey.

Before I really kicked off, I scoped toward the Nanaimo estuary from the path just by the tunnel exit, and could see at least 2 short-eared owls and a northern harrier hunting over the flooded marsh.
The survey itself, was pretty uneventful but continued, at least, to remain rain-free as I walked down to Jack Point and back.
Highlights included 7 horned grebe, 4 common loon, 1 surf scoter, 1 harlequin duck and a Brandt's cormorant. The most plentiful birds were bufflehead and common goldeneye, with reasonable numbers of red-breasted merganser and greater scaup also present.

I made a quick stop at Holden Creek on my way back. The actual marsh was birdless (no doubt helped by the fact that a couple of local gunmen were creeping around at the back), but the wet fields contained approximately 1400 American wigeon plus several hundred green-winged teal and reasonable numbers of pintail and mallard. A peregrine bombed through, attempted a strike at the wildfowl but left empty-handed. Or empty-taloned, I suppose...
5 greater white-fronted geese were still hanging around with the Canadas.

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