Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter Weekend Part 2 - Richmond Snipe and Reifel Arrivals

I have been told by a few different birders that you can regularly see Wilson's Snipe in Richmond at the foot of Steveston Highway, west of #1 road. I arrived around 9:00 AM on this Saturday morning to see vehicles and people everywhere in the area. It turned out that a film crew was on site. The dyke was still open to the public and I started looking for the Snipe.Thanks to a helpful lady, I eventually saw them.

They come to this location to sleep during the day before resuming hunting around dusk. They were about 50 meters out and blended well with the long grass, so the pictures are not great.

Wilson's Snipe - Steveston Highway, Richmond BC - 2018 Bird # 93

From here I moved on and decided to visit Reifel Bird Sanctuary. It would be busy on a Saturday, but I figured there were many birds migrating in that might be seen there.

Upon arrival I saw Tree Swallows, already busy in the nest boxes.

Tree Swallow - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

I love the eyes in this shot:

The Golden-crowned Sparrows are quickly moulting into alternate plumage. Many of them head further north for breeding activity.

Golden-crowned Sparrow - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Fox Sparrows are year round residents and there seems to be an upsurge in their numbers. I met a woman who conducts regular surveys at the Sanctuary and she confirmed that assumption.

Fox Sparrow - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Also present in good numbers were Ruby-crowned Kinglets. I was not able to catch a shot of their crown on this visit.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - 2018 Bird #94

Always photogenic are the Spotted Towhees, this one looks a bit ticked off about something.

Spotted Towhee - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Another first for the year was a Yellow-rumped Warbler. The yellow and blue Audubon's race is the most predominant here, but you can get lucky and see a Myrtle with the white throat occasionally.

Yellow-rumped Warbler - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC
2018 Bird #95

We have Downy Woodpeckers year round on the west coast, it's always nice to see them.

Downy Woodpecker - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Here's a movie of the bird drumming, advertising for a mate.

Another Reifel must-see are the Sandhill Cranes. They intermingle with the multitude of visitors and there don't seem to be many incidents. In breeding season the congregate in an area that's closed to the public.

Sandhill Crane - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Here's a brief movie of these two:

One reason I chose Reifel on this day was I had not seen any Gadwall Ducks yet in 2018. Today was my lucky day. These are an elegant duck with subtle colouring. The male is on the left and the female on the right.

Gadwall - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - 2018 Bird #96

Another pair of lovebirds were close by, a male and female Northern Shoveler. 

Northern Shoveler - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Finally one of my best photos of the year, a female Northern Pintail in beautiful light. I like this one so much I submitted it to the Sanctuary manager as a candidate for cover photo for their bi-monthly magazine. We'll see if it makes the cut!

Northern Pintail - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

So ended day 2 of the 4 day Easter long weekend. The weather would not be quite as nice for the last two days, but there'd be some photos coming for that.

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