Thursday 4 April 2013

Colony Farm Sora/Ring-necked Duck

April 3rd 2013 Colony Farm, Coquitlam, B.C
The word was out that a Sora and a Virginia Rail were modelling for pictures at Colony Farm pond. A number of birders had made their way to the popular birding spot hoping to see the birds for themselves, myself included.
As I sauntered down from the car park a pair Rufous hummingbirds darted in front of me, a small flock of Bushtits flitted from branch to branch and a lone Yellow-rumped warbler was hawking insects.
I spent an hour scouring the edges of the pond looking for either Sora or Rail but without much success, it wasn't until a group of birders arrived that the Sora was heard calling from the marsh, it's a case of the more eyes and ears the better. One big advantage of going out with experienced birders is that many hear birds before seeing them, as was the case this time. Many photographers who want to take up bird photography ask me how do I find my subjects, my standard answer is join a scheduled bird walk or your local naturalist group. I am a member of the Langley Field Naturalists. Many of my best pictures were taken on organized walks and if we were unsuccessful i'll often go back to the same spot on my own. That way I can chose the location depending on direction of light, tides, food availability and time of the year.
Sora (Porzana carolina)

This Sora spent twenty minutes feeding on pond weeds and invertebrates. 
(Below) I had photographed Ring-necked ducks before but it wasn't until I came across a pair at the Colony Farm pond that the ring around the neck was evident, I am guessing that this is more pronounced during breeding season as previous winter shots did not show the neck ring as well.

Adult male Ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris) preens and shows off the distinctive neck ring.

Adult breeding Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) was feeding on three-spined sticklebacks.

1 comment:

  1. John, great capture of the Sora! The other two are great too!