Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blackie Spit (Parrots and Hawks)

6.06 a.m. Aug 16th, 2012 Blackie Spit, Crescent Beach, Surrey
The sun had just risen and with the Lower Mainland experiencing a sweltering heat wave the "sweet" morning light is the best and only time for bird photography. It's just way too hot!
The tide was beginning to ebb and twenty or so Caspian terns could be heard laying claim to a newly exposed sandbar. Suddenly out of nowhere, a Cooper's hawk unsuccessfully chases down a very young rabbit. To my left a Savannah sparrow perches on a withered Yarrow stalk and then a very strange call I hadn't heard before. I thought it was a Stella's jay mimicking so when a parrot like bird glides past, its long yellow-green tail and prominent orange beak catch both my and the Cooper's attention. The Cooper's and the parrot both take off in the same direction,  I fear for the parrot but they perch in different trees. Although not too tame, I eventually was able to get close enough to fill the frame (see below)
Either this is a case of global warming or most probably an escapee, but aren't parrots from way down by the equator! I wonder if it had hitched a ride up on the back of one of Vancouver's Brown pelicans! At present the bird is adapting to the freedom that all birds should have, hanging around the many fruit trees that have been planted at entrance to the spit.
Meanwhile I have sent a picture to the Peace Arch News to see if anyone recognizes their pet, catching it will be another matter!
On a recent trip to Richmond Park just out side London, hundreds of Ring-necked parakeets have adapted to the sometimes harsh UK winter and have become somewhat of a nuisance, taking nesting sites from woodpeckers and other cavity nesters.
Perhaps this bird will find a home here but I don't know if I would put money on it! .
The  young Cooper's hawk wonders where the rabbit has gone.

The Blackie Spit parrot (Beautiful plumage)

1 comment:

  1. Nice shot John. People lose their pets all the time and I bet this one cost a pretty penny.