Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Holy Quail

Out near my workplace in Langford I see California quails pretty frequently. Most days, if I bother to look out my office window for long enough one or two will come trotting by.
Admittedly, most birders in BC would hardly give these small gamebirds a second glance, but now that the local quails are escorting their growing broods around, they are forming large creches and today at least 30 were dashing around the lawned area by the FTS building.
I only had my little compact camera handy, so I took a couple of pics through the glass. Pretty bloody awful, eh?  (Oh, and that 'eh' there isn't a sign of my becoming Canada-ised, we Lancastrians and other folk from Northern England use it habitually too).

Eight-spotted skimmer
While taking my lunchtime constitutional to Langford Lake and back, the highlight was a very vocal male western tanager.
It was calling constantly from some small trees adjacent to the railway line before flying off south.
Otherwise it was fairly birdless with just belted kingfisher, Anna's hummingbird and a juvenile orange-crowned warbler to deviate from the ultra common species.

Blue dasher female
As usual there were lots of 8-spotted skimmers and blue dashers around, taking advantage of the soaring temperatures, so I grabbed a couple of snaps.
Thank goodness for dragonflies on days when the birds are keeping a low profile...

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