Sunday, February 11, 2018

Extra long weekend Day 3 - Point Roberts. Tsawwassen and another Owl

Point Roberts, Lighthouse Marine Park

On this Sunday at Point Roberts I took as many scenery shots as I did of birds. The light on this morning was special. On arrival it wasn't too unusual but I took this shot to show the views available at Lighthouse Marine Park.

The water was calm today, and this loon seemed to be enjoying it.

Common Loon - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

Also close to shore was a male Harlequin Duck.

Harlequin Duck - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

The sun was partially obscured by a bank of clouds which created an effect like a sunrise.

Off in the distance I saw two birds, a loon and a smaller bird beside it. I checked it with my scope and realized it was a Red-necked Grebe.

Red-necked Grebe and Common Loon - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA
2018 Bird #67 (Grebe)

I saw a whitish bird farther offshore and took a couple of shots with my fingers crossed. The first is not too sharp but shows a long tail, the second turned out better. These show the beauty of the male Long-tailed Duck in winter plumage.

Long-tailed Duck - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

I got one more shot of the Red-necked Grebe, enough to show the distinctive large yellow bill. The red neck doesn't show until it moults into breeding plumage come spring.

Red-necked Grebe - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

As I was about to leave, the sky darkened as the sun was more obscured by the clouds.

Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty

My next stop was the Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty where I hoped to see the oft-reported Whimbrel and also see my first Black Oystercatchers of the year. I decided to park on the south side of the jetty where the road leaves something to be desired. It was a good test for the Subaru.

Many people were using chainsaws to salvage firewood from large logs and stumps thad were blown ashore during a recent windstorm.

The first birds I spotted were Surf Scoters, a bit too far out to get good shots into the sun.

Surf Scoter - South side of Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty, Delta BC - 2018 Bird #68

I walked west quite a way but did not see many birds other than more scoters and some goldeneye. I crossed over to the north side and started walking east. I saw some Scaup in winter plumage and took some photos for ID at home. I confirmed these were Greater Scaup based on the sloping angle on the back of the head as shown in the second photo below.

Greater Scaup - North side of Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty, Delta BC - 2018 Bird #69

In the same area there were a pair of Black Oystercatchers taking their midday break.

Black Oystercatcher - North side of Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty, Delta BC - 2018 Bird #70

After this was taken they both appeared to be taking a nap while keeping one eye open for trouble.

Another Owl in Delta

I had heard by word of mouth that there was a pair of Long-eared Owls at a location in South Delta, and that one of them was out in the open today. I made my way to that location and after walking too far past the site, turned around and came back. I had expected a throng of birders to be present, but there were only a couple.

I did spot the owl and it was in the open with one eye watching the movements of the people on a nearby path. Hopefully it was getting the rest that it required.

Long-eared Owl - Delta BC - 2018 Bird #71

Although the shots above look close, I was using the Nikon super zoom to take them. One more with the Canon and I left.

This was the end of day three of my extended long weekend. On Monday I'd return to North Vancouver for another chance for the Northern Goshawk.

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