Tuesday 1 January 2013

Owls Bitterns and Tree Sparrows

Jan 1st 2013 Boundary Bay, British Columbia, Canada
Pea Soup Foggy

A thick fog covered the landscape and for brief moment or two the sun peeks through the cloud. It was cold and dull as I poured a cup of coffee from my flask. For the first few minutes no birds were apparent but as the minutes passed the sighting of a Northern harrier and the sound of songbirds drew me in.
I decided to see what I could find ( I really need all the exercise I can get) after eating too much Gravy Bird (Turkey) and chocolates that were gifted us over the holidays. Thanks to you all, may the good cheer continue. May I also be able to fit back into my pants (trousers) again! Hmmm, probably need to going on more birding walks to lose the pounds!
Back to the birding. I was looking for the American tree sparrows that had been spotted along on 72nd and the dyke. They had been pointed out to me by photographer Raymond Ng. I wasn't really happy with my first effort so I decided to go back and have another go.

The first bird I encountered was an American bittern that was feeding in an open ditch, I stumbled on it as I followed the tree sparrows. The bird landed on a Himalayan blackberry bush for a few moments before flying off to an adjoining field.

An American bittern melds into the surroundings .

American tree sparrow
I continued walking the dyke for another hour when I again found the elusive sparrows feeding on seed. I spent the next thirty minutes following them from post to branch to seed heads where this picture was eventually taken, just four frames and then the bird was gone. The lack of sun and a temperature that barely rose above freezing meant the plants were still laden with moisture from the morning hoar frost.
Later, as I approached my car I noticed a large group of people huddled together peering at what turned out to be a Long-eared owl that had hidden itself in a hawthorn bush.

I'm glad I made the effort as it was a great way to kick off 2013!

Long-eared owl

Happy Birding

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