Friday, 11 November 2011

Snow Show for Owl on Trial

For those reading this back in the UK, today is Remembrance Day here in Canada and a 'stat' holiday. So, with Jenny working I decided I might as well do my Coastal Waterbird Survey.
It had been pouring down all night, though by late morning it was starting to ease off considerably. To compensate, the wind was picking up and gusting like a good 'un.
As I went about counting the various waterbirds off and onshore, I kept scanning Trial Island in the hope of picking up the snowy owl that was present out there all day yesterday. To be honest, had I been a snowy owl I would have been hunkered down in the long grass, or in a sheltered crevice somewhere rather than sat out in the open in those conditions.
Other than spotting a white plastic bucket nestled among some logs, I wasn't able to see anything Hedwig-like. A bald eagle was doing its best to keep upright, facing into the wind.
The survey was unremarkable, despite the howling winds and choppy seas. Alcids were notably few, with just a handful of pigeon guillemots and rhinoceros auklets seen while seaducks were equally unimpressive in number. A feeding group of 97 American wigeon alongside a dozen buffleheads were seeking relative shelter in the bay between McMicking and Harling Points.

Later, I took a wander around the Govt House grounds where I saw and heard very little. A few juncos, golden-crowned sparrows and golden-crowned kinglets were about the only passerines encountered.
Not quite in the league as its Arctic cousin, a barred owl was seen and snapped.

Right, it's about time I gave the answer to the last Mystery Bird

Only one vote each was cast in favour of Tennessee warbler and common yellowthroat.
3 votes went for orange-crowned warbler while a further 4 participants chose northern waterthrush.
However 65% of the votes supported palm warbler. And indeed that's what it is. The photo shows an eastern 'yellow' bird, which I thought might throw some of you... maybe it did.

I've posted a new one - enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. have seen the Snowy yet Jon? Ralf sent out some pictures of a bird is South Nanaimo?