Saturday, January 6, 2018

Brunswick Point - Quest for the Tree Sparrow

It was a gray Saturday, a theme that would be repeated for most weekends in January. It dried out for a while and I decided to try to locate a reported American Tree Sparrow at Brunswick Point. It was not a great day for photography so I've made a couple of substitutions in this post.

My first sighting was a Robin and I took one very poor shot of it. The photo below was taken at the same location on Boxing Day and is much better.

American Robin - Brunswick Point, Delta BC
2018 Bird #16
Photo taken Dec 26, 2017

There were Snow Geese flying overhead, once again the shot was poor.

Snow Geese -  Brunswick Point, Delta BC - 2018 Bird #17

Along the dike path there are some old pilings that Cormorants frequently occupy. They are usually the Double-Crested species, and today was no exception. The Orange face and Blue eyes are good field marks for them.

Double-crested Cormorant -  Brunswick Point, Delta BC - 2018 Bird #18

Further along there is a large foreshore area where Short-eared Owls and Northern Harriers hunt. Today I only saw Harriers. This one was about 100 meters away, so the focus is not as sharp as i'd like.

Northern Harrier - Brunswick Point, Delta BC
2018 Bird #19

A loud honking noise in the sky was caused by a group of Swans flying over. I isolated on this one.

Trumpeter Swan -  Brunswick Point, Delta BC - 2018 Bird #20

About 2 KM from where I'd parked there is a area on the foreshore with some small trees and scrubby bushes. This was the location where the American Tree Sparrow had been seen since before Christmas. 

This attractive Sparrow breeds in the north and some stay here in the winter in tundra like areas such as Boundary Bay. 

I had my spotting scope with me, but was still lacking good binoculars (I lost my old ones in November). I used the scope to scan the bush and suddenly spotted a light coloured Sparrow with a dark breast spot, it was definitely a Tree Sparrow. By the time I had the camera ready it had flown.

I'm substituting a nice photo of the species that I took in the winter of 2015 at Boundary Bay.

American Tree Sparrow - Boundary Bay, Delta BC - January 2015
2018 Bird # 21

I headed back to the car and hoped for better weather on the next weekend.

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