Saturday 15 November 2014

Fraser Valley Birding

Nov 11/14 Sumas Prairie Abbotsford BC Cold 1c

American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)

Driving around Sumas Prairie in sub zero temperatures looking for raptors can be a frustrating experience. On calmer days American Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks and even the odd Golden Eagle can make it an exciting place to bird. We did find a dark phase intermediate Red-tailed Hawk but the buffeting winds made holding the camera still somewhat of a challenge. The American Pipit (above was shot from the car window from about twenty-five metres with the Tamron 150mm-600mm. I bought the lens for situations like this when a larger lens would have been too cumbersome to set up in the cramped quarters of a small car. With no Black-backed Gull to be found we headed toward Mission to find Bald Eagles that had congregated to feed on spawned out salmon.

Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)
Another car window shot with the Tamron. The lens is so light and agile it can be very useful in situations where a wary bird like the Varied Thrush can only be approached by using the car as a blind. Plus it was really windy and cold outside.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
An adult Bald Eagle (left) clashes with a 2nd year bird on Nicomen Slough. The spent salmon the eagles were fighting over can be seen in the water below the birds.

"It's never too late to start birding"
John Gordon
Langley Cloverdale

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