Jen and I were in Victoria for the weekend and although we had a full itinerary, I managed to squeeze in a couple of small birding opportunities.
On Saturday I found a few moments to spend at Clover Point - there were no stringy eiders this time, just a handful of dunlin, black turnstones, black oystercatchers and harlequin ducks, etc. The assembled jumble of gulls contained nothing of particular note.
Returning to Cedar later in the day, we stopped off at Quennell Lake for a quick look before heading home. Green-winged teal numbers had increased since my last visit, but the common (Eurasian) teal that had been around for some time was nowhere to be seen. Just 3 northern shoveler were present among the pintail and mallard.
The regular male American kestrel was hunting in nearby fields.
Later, I paid a visit to Holden Creek, where large numbers of wildfowl were feeding in the flooded fields. Among the several hundred Canada geese, I saw a group of 5 greater white-fronted geese.
Scanning through the 225 American wigeon dabbling in the wet fields I came across 4 drake Eurasian wigeons. Certainly the most I've seen together here.
A northern shrike was perched up in a hawthorn out on the marsh.
As I was in the area, I couldn't ignore the Nanaimo River estuary, and I headed there for a late scout around. Upon arrival I bumped into Bernard Schroeder; a great fellow and, without doubt, one of the world's leading authorities on marbled murrelet! He was busy shepherding his 2 lively boys while trying to get a bit of birding in. We had a good chat and saw a female northern harrier, before going our separate ways.