Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Birding Panama Flats

Now that I am officially unemployed (a temporary measure, one sincerely hopes), at least I have a bit more time on my hands to get out birding. Every cloud, and all that...
So, I spent a couple of hours this morning at Panama Flats, one of my favourite Victoria birding sites. It was considerably quieter than when I came with Rich at the weekend, but there were still a few birds around worth looking at.
On the more northerly of the two larger pools, a single lesser yellowlegs was feeding, and before long was joined by a greater yellowlegs and a mercifully vocal short-billed dowitcher.
A further 4 greater yellowlegs (roosting bird pictured) were on the other pool, though no other waders other than a couple of spotted sandpiper were to be seen.

An adult peregrine flew in, and sat up in the dead tree (pictured) - much to the irritation of the many barn swallows in the area. Small numbers of northern rough-winged, violet-green and cliff swallows were also hawking over the fields and pools.
I eventually found a group of just 6 least sandpiper feeding in a small muddy pool, alongside a juvenile killdeer. Another couple of spotted sandpipers showed up including a not-yet-fledged fluffy youngster.
The swallows' alarm calls signalled the arrival of 3 turkey vultures as they drifted low over the area, and as I looked up I noticed an adult and an immature bald eagle sailing over, high.
A female belted kingfisher flew through, noisily, but carried on in a southerly direction - perhaps to Swan Lake?
Insects-wise, there were a few Lorquin's admirals around, as well as blue-eyed or California darners (I need to get a really good look at one of those to determine which...) 

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