Sunday 12 April 2015

Various Places/Various Birds

April 10/15 Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary/Richmond Nature Park/Boundary Bay.

Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

On arriving at Reifel we were saddened to hear the Sandhill Crane had lost both eggs. Whether they had been predated or otherwise we couldn't confirm, only that the birds had abandoned their nest. Sanctuary manager Katherine mentioned they might have another attempt to lay depending how amorous they feel.
The goal was to find a pair of Swamp Sparrows which may to may not be breeding in the Reifel's reed beds. Normally the species heads into the interior to breed so it will be interesting to see what unfolds. I almost got a clear shot but there's always another day. 
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)

On the way out of the sanctuary the Harris Sparrow was hanging around with the Golden-crowned Sparrows.
It's looking a bit rough as it changes into adult plumage.
Harris Sparrow (Zenotrichia querula)
Richmond Nature Park
I just felt like going to photograph some hummingbirds. The nature park has both Rufous and Anna's Hummingbirds and numerous feeders.
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
Juvenile I think?

 Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)

Next up was the surprise arrival of a flock of Red Crossbill. They came in so quickly for a drink at a small pond that I ended up underexposing the few shots I did manage to fire off. The result grainy pix.

Male Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirosta)

Juvenile males?

Juvenile female Red Crossbill.
After all the excitement that lasted just a few minutes, it was back to the other birds where a number of species were sharing a feeder with a Douglas Squirrel.

Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii)

 Male Purple Finch ( Carpodacus purpureus)

Male House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)

Female Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

I photographed this Great Blue Heron while waiting for the Golden Eagle. If I remember right I shot it handheld with the 500mm F4 because I had just arrived and hadn't put up my tripod.

Below is a Bald Eagle shot from the same spot but this time on a tripod. I have dozens of Bald Eagle shots but this one has a little more expression in the bird's face than most.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
About a month ago Boundary Bay was inundated with Bald Eagles. From one spot alone a group of us counted 180 birds wheeling around in the thermals. As the weather warms the eagles slowly disperse and us birders turn our attentions to warblers, terns and shorebirds. Some of us will head to the Interior for desert and alpine species and others for the prairies to bird for grassland species.  Wherever your birding takes you I wish you the best of luck and good birding.

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
BC Canada


  1. Stunning shots. I have never seen crossbills so close at richmond nature park !well done and fantastic read

  2. Do let me know what lens you used to shoot them..are they all with 500mm F4 Nikon or Canon? Beautiful shots..

  3. All these pictures were taken with Nikon 500 F4. However the same results can be had with the Nikon 200-500. Just look at my latest blogs and you will see that all the shots are handheld. I have never used Canon. I'm sure it good but no better or worse. It all depends on the photographer not the equipment. Thanks for looking.