Saturday, 29 January 2011

Birding Back Up North

Arrived back up north from the sub-tropics in the early hours, and boy did it feel cool and damp.
After a good lie-in and some essential chores, I headed out to reacquaint myself with the Nanaimo River estuary.
Now that the wildfowl hunting season has finished, I had the place to myself for a couple of hours. And what a treat it was, to do some birding without feeling as if one was in the middle of a re-enactment of the Battle of the Somme. I'm sure that the birds, were they capable of conscious thought, would agree.
Among the usual commoner stuff, I clocked a short-eared owl, a juvenile female northern harrier and 5 western meadowlarks. There were good numbers of pintail and American wigeon plus smaller numbers of green-winged teal, gadwall and bufflehead. A couple of dozen trumpeter swans were out on the estuary mouth.
The only thing of note that I could find in among the reduced numbers of golden-crowned sparrow and dark-eyed juncos was a lone fox sparrow. A Cooper's hawk buzzed through causing considerable panic.
There were plenty of bald eagles, mainly juvs and sub-adults sat around the area today. Hence the pic of a grumpy looking individual here.

Mystery revealed!

OK - there seems to be little point in going through the identification process with this. 86% of participants plumped for green heron.
Which of course, it is.
Thanks to Steve Large for the shot of this 1st year bird, taken in late summer 2010 at Buttertubs Marsh, Nanaimo. Check out Steve's amazing bird photography here.

To the right, you will see a new mystery bird - enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Using my newly aquired Sibley field guide I'll plump for Black Turnie.

    I do this on my blog page as well, it's not as easy when the shoe is on the other foot!