Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saturday Morning Point Roberts

If you read this blog you know I visit Point Roberts a lot. Part of it has to do with cheap gas, but the major attraction is the variety of birds on display at Lighthouse Marine Park. If you compare this post to other recent ones, you'll notice this blog has a different set of birds from the last one.

I started the morning with a sighting of a Sea Lion fairly close to shore.

Steller's Sea Lion - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

The featured birds today were a flock of Brant even closer to shore. I'm not sure why these geese have a singular name, sometimes they are called Black Brant. They frequent coastal salt water bays and always appear in numbers. Up close they are very distinctive. THis photo sequence was taken in less than a second as this pair navigate the waves.

Brant - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

Brant feed on eel grass and seaweed as you can see below.

Brant - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

This short movie shows them in action:

After watching the Brant for a while, I noticed a pair of Black Oystercatchers on the rocky shore. I normally see them on the Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty rather than at Point Roberts.

Black Oystercatcher - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

It's easy to see how they could crack Oyster shells with those beaks.

A bird I do see here frequently is the Red-breasted Merganser. However, it's usually only the females. Today the more colourful males were also present. 

Red-breasted Merganser - Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts WA

I assume the one in the background is skimming for food in the shallow water. In the video below there are two females doing the same thing.

I left the park and made my way up to Lilly Point. I'd had some luck there in year's past with Pacific Wren, but it was too early in the year for such birds to be present.

This shot shows the terrain at this elevated location on the Point.

I made my way back to Canada and decided to try my luck at Brunswick Point in South Delta. That's detailed in the subsequent post.

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