Sunday 16 November 2014

Sunny Day Birding

Nov 12 2014 Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Sunny 6c
The weather in the Lower Mainland has been fantastic. Sunny and cooler than normal, the blue skies and crisp mornings make it perfect for birding. So with all the gardening chores over the only commitment was to feed the garden birds and change the hummingbird feeder. We have two resident Anna's Hummingbirds who come to feed each morning. To make sure they'll survive the winter I bring in one feeder at night so it doesn't freeze. 
After our recent group visit to Reifel I decided to go back on my own just to enjoy a quiet walk and enjoy the solitude.
The chattering of a kingfisher and a native crab apple tree festooned with Cedar Waxwings greeted me as I drove into the parking lot. By now the sun was warm enough to dispense with my hat and scarf.
Snow Geese and assorted ducks are disrupted by hunters. A dredger works to keep shipping lanes open.

 Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus) with seed.

 Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
In all my visits to Reifel I have seen adult but never a juvenile night heron. Near the warming hut I spotted this juvenile bird bouncing around from branch to branch. The four adults, sleeping nearby ignored its antics completely. Night herons usually sleep during the day and forage at night so seeing this bird bopping around in broad daylight was quite a treat.

By noon it was time to move along and visit one of my favourite birding locations 64th Ave. Moments after leaving my car I heard the rattling of a Belted Kingfisher coming from the greenhouse pond. Sure enough a female bird was actively hunting what appeared to be sticklebacks. 
Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon)
My eye was drawn to the cobalt blue of the water, the rusty coloured pipe and the wide open bill. 

"The Catch"

These images took two hours of waiting and waiting by which time the sun was waning and my toes were becoming numb, time to go home for a nice cup of tea.

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


  1. John, a great outing! Saw the juvenile Night Heron today! It was down at the water line. Ice line actually. After watching for a few moments, it regurgitated it's breakfast onto the ice and them proceed to re-eat it! Strange behaviour. By the By, on your good reports I just bought the Tamron 150-600. Very please with it. Never had this reach before and I'm really enjoying it! Cheers. Robin (

  2. Beautiful shots John! I love your shots of the juvie night heron!! Cheers!