Wednesday 11 March 2015

Blossom Birds

Dec 6 2015 Tynehead Park, Dog Park 72nd Ave BC Sunny 12c

How perfectly this House Finch blends into the cherry blossom. As it fed on protein rich stamens an unleashed dog ran by frightening the bird and ending the photo session. It took me thirty minutes to win its trust and in seconds it was all over. Golden-crowned and Song Sparrows HAD also been busily munching away but they too had gone too ground thanks to rampaging hound. The owner asked me what I was looking at, tongue in cheek I replied, Nothing! He still didn't get why I would be looking at nothing and left.

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)

The finch plucks the flower from the branch, twists it around, feasts on the stamen and discards the petals.

Frustrating as it may be to photograph at the dog park, it still can be a very rewarding place to spend a few hours, especially now as the catkins, butterflies and insects are beginning to emerge. Soon the warblers and grosbeaks will be back, adding their songs to the proceeding. Above me I counted a kettle of 45 Bald Eagles effortlessly using the thermals to glide, dive and swoop. Occasionally the courtship displays of the Red-tailed Hawk drew my eye away, light fighter jets, the hawks would appear and be gone, only to re-appear way off in the distance.
...Oops! I forgot to mention the Golden Eagle, Short-eared Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Rough-legged Hawk and Northern Harrier I saw just saw a few hundred metres down the road.

Birding can't get much better than this and it's all in our own backyard. Who said March was a quiet time for birding!

                                                        "It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
Vancouver BC

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