Sunday 26 October 2014

A Mixed Bag

112 St and Hornby Drive Delta B.C. Overcast 13c
The escapee budgerigar is still flying with a mixed flock of Brewer's Blackbirds and Starlings. It has been there all summer after 'flying the coop' in Ladner. A few weeks back the owners contacted me via vanbcbirds asking me about the bird's location. Good luck catching it!  I am told the bird could still survive our harsh winters as long as it can find grain and seeds. A nearby barn which houses livestock should provide shelter and food. No picture this time but as I was watching the bird in flight a Leucistic Eurasian Collared Dove landed on a wire a few feet away.
Leucistic Eurasian collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
A nice blue sky would have improved this image but until then this adds to my collection of leucistic species. So far I have photographed leucistic:
Mallard, Canada Goose, American Crow, White-crowned Sparrow, Steller's Jay, Starling and Red-winged Blackbird.
More about Leucism

The dove wasn't the only reason I was at the corner of 112th. Thanks to a tip from friend and fellow birder Gareth Pugh I was able to photograph a flock of Snow Geese that contained a family of the  dark morph variation.
They were quite far away but I did manage a few pix.
Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)
The dark morph adult is on the left and two juveniles are on the right. 

Both variations for comparison. 

Spooked by an eagle the trick was to locate the dark morph's out of a flock of 400 as they flew across the cornfields.

Even though it was lousy light for photography, the birder in me enjoyed the entire experience. Back home in front of a warm fire I reflected on another day well spent.

"Its never too late to start  birding"

John Gordon
Langley  Cloverdale


  1. John that leucistic dove is so lovely! I love the colors. Congrats on seeing the blue geese! I saw one adult at terra nova yesterday!

  2. I was at 72nd at Boundary this morning and I was sure I could hear a budgie, I could not see it as it was buried in the bushes with other small birds.
    Nick Balachanoff

  3. Hi Nick and Mellie,
    Thanks for your comments both of you. I have only seen the budgie on the corner of 112th but the owners did see it by the goats on the corner of 104th. Interesting birds are budgies, they can live in quite cold conditions an Aussie friend of mine tells me. As for the geese, they very elusive but interesting to watch. The blue geese seem quite aggressive toward their white brethren.
    Please say hello if you see me in the field. Your comments and tips, especially Nick are much appreciated.