Iona Regional Park Richmond B.C.
With family commitments put away and the weather forecast predicting a dry and sunny day I set off for Iona Regional Park in Richmond. Driving up to the parking lot five Western meadowlarks could be seen eagerly searching for food. These prairie birds seem to feel quite at home on the sand that has been deposited here over the millennium. Meadowlarks are most noticeable when they perch in the few bushes which have sprouted up along the beach, however they do spend most of their time scurrying around in the long grass, ever wary of the northern harrier and other raptors looking for a meal.
As per usual I met number of really interesting birders and photographers, exchanging niceties about lens length etc (a male obsession), bird lore and the latest sightings.. it beats working!
My favourite shot of the day was the Goldfinch (below) which was taken half-way through once such discussion, it pays to keep attentive!
|Northern Harrier hunting.|
|Keeping an eye out for trouble!|
|Great horned owl (note the white around the throat)|
Anyway, after photographing a flock of American goldfinches that were feeding on seed heads the subject of a Great horned owl came up in conversation. This news sent me scurrying off to the Terra Nova garden allotments in Richmond. A small murder of crows immediately gave away the owls location. The bird has become quite the celebrity, it barely moved as a procession of schools groups and seniors filed to get a good look. It was perched about fifteen feet from the ground where it nonchalantly viewed all and sundry.
The bird has become quite the hunter dispatching two barn owls over the last few days. Apparently the Great horned owl doesn't like competition, it has even attacked a gardener!