Friday, 6 March 2015

Vancouverite Back Home

Mar 4 2015 Boundary Bay 64th Ave, Delta BC Sunny 12c

It was with great anticipation that I returned to bird the Lower Mainland and Vancouver BC. It was brilliant birding in the UK and I look forward to returning soon.
Unfortunately on my return to Canada I was stricken down by flu bug, methinks it originated from the plane's air-conditioning.
A week after my return I was able to venture out and catch up with a few birds and birders. During my absence I had missed a Great Gray Owl and a pair Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, the latter would have been a lifer but that's the way the feather falls sometimes.
Wrapped up in three layers of clothing I made made my way out into the great wide open. Below is my first stop, a record shot of a wintering lone male Yellow-headed Blackbird with a mixed flock of Starling and Brewer's Blackbird at 112th/Hornby Drive in Delta.

Yellow-headed Blackbird with mixed flock of Brewer's Blackbird (bottom left) and Starlings.

I decided to take a break and have a lunch overlooking Boundary Bay. Thousands of ducks were out in the bay. Small flocks of Dunlin flew by while Northern Harriers patrolled the foreshore. The scene reminded me a little of the Severn Estuary. A flock of American Wigeon had one pair of Eurasian among them. I laid back to enjoy the sun and dozed off for a few minutes, only to be awoken by a very distraught Marsh Wren who objected to my sharing its territory. Funny how the smallest of birds can make their presence known in no uncertain terms. As I collected my belongings a Lincoln Sparrow jumped out of the long Canary Grass to add it's voice to the proceedings. I got the message and backed away  leaving the birds to themselves.
Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)

(Below) shot from the car window handheld with the lightweight Tamron 150mm-600mm. I don't think I would had time to get a larger lens out of the car in time. 

Light first year juvenile Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)

By mid-afternoon it was homeward bound to help with one those domestic things that always seem to pop up just as the birds are waking up from their afternoon siesta. I had packed everything away but there was one more unexpected moment of drama to record.

The Urban Hunter
Merlin (Falco columbarius)
As I pulled into my driveway a Marlin swooped out of a fir tree and nailed a unwary songbird, pinning it to the ground. I exited the car, unzipped my camera bag and shot off a few frames before it flew off into a neighbours garden.

Until next time...good birding!

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
Vancouver BC Canada

1 comment:

  1. Great shots and glad to have you back! Nice to see yellow headed blackbirds back spring is here!