Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve at Reifel Bird Sanctuary

With the entire day off and all my Christmas duties fulfilled, I visited Reifel Bird Sanctuary for the last time in 2018. It was a sunny day with good conditions for photography.

There is a long pond or slough alongside the entrance road. This is an excellent spot to see Common Mergansers. These are the biggest and most robust of the three Merganser species seen in North America.

The males are black and white in with a large orange/red bill.

Common Merganser - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

After checking in, I looked to see what the Black-crowned Night Herons were doing. As usual, the were sleeping. Only one was close enough for a photo.

Black-crowned Night Heron - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

A female Wood Duck was posing nicely on a fence rail a bit farther along.

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

Many of the guests here buy bird seed to feed the chickadees, blackbirds and even some of the ducks. This Sandhill Crane is also willing to partake.

Sandhill Crane and Mallards - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

These Cranes look like they're digging for earthworms.

Further along the path was Great Blue Heron, possibly taking a nap. Some birds have a third eyelid called a nictitating membrane which is defined as:
  • a whitish or translucent membrane that forms an inner eyelid in birds, reptiles, and some mammals. It can be drawn across the eye to protect it from dust and keep it moist.

Great Blue Heron - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

This coot looked wide awake and alert.

American Coot - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

The Song Sparrows are numerous along the North Dyke trail.  This shot turned out quite well, although the branch behind the bird seems to be coming out of its head.

Song Sparrow - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

An immature Bald Eagle flew overhead looking to cause some trouble out on the marsh.

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

It succeeded. The Eagles keep the Snow Geese on edge during the day. If an Eagle gets too close, all the geese take off at once. The honking can be heard over long distances.

Snow Geese - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

After leaving the Sanctuary I was lucky to see a couple of Hawks as I travelled homeward. I use the back roads around rural Delta to get to and from the Sanctuary, so it is normally safe to stop on the road and take photos out the window.

Rough-legged Hawk - 33a Ave, Ladner BC

Red-tailed Hawk - Deltaport Way, Delta BC

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