Sunday, August 19, 2018

Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 18 and 19

This post contains the last group of photos taken at Reifel Bird Sanctuary in August.

Saturday August 18

This day started with a decent shot of a Northern Harrier patrolling the outer perimeter of the Sanctuary.

Northern Harrier - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

This next shot has been cropped to make it look as artistic as possible.

Canada Goose and Dowitchers - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

It's always a treat to see a Cinnamon Teal. In this case it was the elegant female who was putting on a show.

Cinnamon Teal (F) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

Cinnamon Teal (F) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

Sunday August 19


This day started with the equally elegant female Wood Duck.

Wood Duck (F) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

A bit later in the day another female popped up, in this case a Western Tanager. This might be my first sighting of the female of this species.

Western Tanager (F) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018


Western Tanager (F) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

Further along in my visit I saw this pair of Sandhill Cranes, looks like a mother and a juvenile to me:

Sandhill Crane - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

Here's another look at a Yellowlegs, I think a Greater...

Greater Yellowlegs - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

And next to last is a female Mallard duck, looking great with this lighting...

Mallard (F) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

My last photo of the day was an immature Bald Eagle...

Bald Eagle (Imm) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - August 2018

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

August 8 - Boundary Bay

I was very lazy this year (or busy) and missed much of the August shorebird migration. On  his Wednesday evening, I made the effort to go to Boundary Bay after dinner and was rewarded with a couple of species for my year list.

The only legal parking spot at Boundary Bay is the Airpark at 104 St. I dutifully parked there and headed west towards an area know as the pilings (for obvious reasons).



The two most common species at this time of year are the Western Sandpiper and the Black-bellied Plover. I'd seen both species in the spring, so no year birds so far.

Western Sandpiper - Boundary Bay, 104 St. Delta BC - August 2018

However. the Black-bellied Plovers were a first for 2018...

Black-bellied Plover - Boundary Bay, 104 St. Delta BC - August 2018 

The next bird I saw was a first for 2018, a Semipalmated Plover. These can be confused with Killdeer ( a more common Plover) but in this case I believe I saw both species.

Semipalmated Plover - Boundary Bay, 104 St. Delta BC - August 2018 - 2018 Species #190

Killdeer - Boundary Bay, 104 St. Delta BC - August 2018

Here's a close-up of a couple of Western Sandpipers.


This ended my evening. I had a little more luck with migrating shorebirds in September.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

August 4th and 5th, 2018 - Reifel Bird Sanctuary


Here's another belated post (written in November) about the birds seen at Reifel Bird Sanctuary in early August. Late Summer is one of the worst times of the year for birding, so most of my outings were at Reifel. I can count on seeing something there most times I visit.

Saturday, August 4

As I was entering the Sanctuary, the first creatures spotted were not birds, but a large group of Carp in one of the ponds.


Carp - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

I shot a movie on the Nikon, it's kind of creepy.



For much of the summer there has been a lone Trumpeter Swan at the sanctuary. This is one big bird compared to the Mallards in the background. Read on for more size comparisons...

Trumpeter Swan - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

In August the shorebirds start returning from the breeding grounds in the North. The return stretches out over a couple of months, with the young coming south separately from the adults.

These are early returning Greater Yellowlegs.


Greater Yellowlegs - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

This movie is a bit choppy, but captures the essence of the species.


Here's a a couple more shots of this species:


Greater Yellowlegs - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018


Greater Yellowlegs - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

I believe this next shot shows a Lesser Yellowlegs, the bill length is less than the length of the head. It's also possible that the previous shot above is a Lesser.


Lesser Yellowlegs - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018 (2018 Species #188)

Each year, there are many birds born at Reifel, here's some of this year's batch.


Tree Swallow (Nestlings) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

I waited patiently and was able to capture this movie of them screaming for food just before they got fed.


Ths shot's blurry, but shows a parent with food visiting the nest.


Tree Swallow - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

If you look back at the earlier Yellowlegs photos, they seem quite large. These photos of them next to Mallard Ducks puts this in perspective.


Mallard (F) and Greater Yellowlegs - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

Here's another comparison, a Mallard and a Long-billed Dowitcher, another bird that seems large when seen by itself.

Mallard (F) and Long-billed Dowitcher - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

By this time I was out on the western perimeter of the Sanctuary. There are Purple Martin boxes outside the boundary, and today they had occupants.

Purple Martin - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018 (2018 Species #189)

Purple Martin - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

My last bird of the day was this finch. I'm pretty sure it's a House Finch, not a Purple Finch.

House Finch - Reifel Bird Sanctuary - August 2018

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August 2018 - Backyard

Wow, I'm writing this in October, it's easy to get behind in the blogger world. One reason is that August might be the slowest month of the bird-watching year.

There will be three posts for the month, one to cover multiple visits to Reifel Bird Sanctuary, one for Boundary Bay and this one for birds seen in the backyard.

The first photo is poor quality but the bird is a great one to see. We have Bewick's Wren in our yard all year, but it's mostly heard rather than seen.


Bewick's Wren - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

Much easier to see is the American Robin.

American Robin - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

This House Finch was noteworthy for its unusual colouring, orange instead of red. I did some research and the colour may be affected by diet.

House Finch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

The most common bird in our yard is the Black-capped Chickadee. We have three or four of them and they are the boss at the bird feeder and the water dish. The first bird may be moulting or it may be a juvenile.


Black-capped Chickadee - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

Our Apple tree is a favourite place for the birds in the yard.




Black-capped Chickadee - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018


Black-capped Chickadee - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

These American Goldfinches appear to be moulting into winter plumage. We don't see then all year round. This could be a female in moult.


American Goldfinch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

This one is a male for sure.

American Goldfinch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018


American Goldfinch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

This one seems to be fully in Basic (winter) plumage.

American Goldfinch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

And finally, there's the Red-breasted Nuthatch. We only ever see one at a time, but they seem to be resident in the yard.

Red-breasted Nuthatch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

They seem to be intimidated by the Chickadees, so they wait for their turn at the feeder and the water dish.

Red-breasted Nuthatch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

Red-breasted Nuthatch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

Red-breasted Nuthatch - Backyard, North Delta BC - August 2018

There's some more backyard photos coming in a September post.