(June 9 - 11/05)

The rain in Spain seems to be mostly around the mid-Island these days which is not good for photography. I think the birds like it though, as I watch my hummers preening themselves in the rain. I did manage a few forays here & there tossed in with a little marketing. I didn't find the Vespers at Nanaimo Collishaw Airport, but thank the several people who informed me that they are indeed there.

Speaking of marketing, the response to the $25 pre-publication special of my book has been gratifying. One nature resort ordered 100 copies when they saw my layouts and there have been many individual orders. But, there will be many more to sell before I can afford to eat again. However, I'm excited and expecting the books to be in by June 23 and deliveries to start on June 24. The pre-publication special expires on June 15 for anyone who hasn't reserved their copies yet.

VESPERLESS - On June 9th I headed for Nanaimo Collishaw Airport thinking the 3rd time would be lucky for finding the Vespers. I was wrong. All the sparrows I saw had yellow supercilliums. But, I've never been known to pass up a photo op, and the Savannahs were posing on the broom bushes.

FLIGHT PLANS - On June 10 I stopped by Dolphin Lake to welcome the new eaglets to the world. Last week with the adults standing around the edges of the nests, I knew that it wouldn't be long before the young ones would be popping their heads over the nest. Was I ever surprised to see Sammy (nickname for Samantha or Samuel in the south nest) jumping up and down and flapping its wings as if it were ready to fly. Good thing a gust of wind didn't come up. Meanwhile, Norm (Norma or Norman in the north nest) was a little more sedate with some occasional stretching and moving around.

TREE SWALLOWS - Have you ever wondered why Tree Swallows are named Tree Swallows? Barn Swallows build their nests on barns or houses, Cliff Swallows in cliffs, ... Tree Swallows will use any cavity be it bird house or tree. I didn't see the connection until I saw a nursery of fledglings in an alder tree. They hang out in trees until they are weaned from their parents. I don't know if that's why they are called Tree Swallows, but if the Greeks could make up legends to explain lightning etc. ...

Sibling rivalry - It doesn't take long before the kids are arguing with each other.

FIND THE SUNSHINE - On June 11 I told my wife we would drive south until we found the sunshine. Good thing it was Ladysmith or we still might be driving. Besides Ladysmith, we also discovered Chemainus Lake which was a wonderful habitat with a nature trail around the Lake.

The trees above Ladysmith seemed to be alive with Warbling Vireo, Orange-crowned Warblers, Willow Flycatchers, and Swainson's Thrush, and the sky was full of Violet-green Swallows and Black Swift. Only the Vireo was close enough for a picture.

Chemainus Lake was an accidental and surprise discovery with many birds such as the Western Tanagers and Band-tailed Pigeons.

ONE FOR THE ROAD - As we entered the Nanaimo Parkway, I told my wife to watch for the Red-tailed Hawk on the right. Sure enough, it was on the exact tree where I had seen it 2 days before. It had company today as 2 robins were busy scolding it from about a meter away.

128 pages, full colour, hard cover coffee table book. Anticipated publication date: June 23/05


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