Apr. 20 - A RAINY DAY - The weatherman promised a day of rain and he was right for a change. It wasn't a torrential rain - just a steady light and warm spring drizzle. For once I went birding without my camera, and I found it much more relaxing. Despite the rain, I did take some pictures at my feeders when I got home.
The Yellow-rumped Warblers have been enjoying the suet feeder for the past few days. I've been hearing them in the trees for over a week, but I hadn't seen them at the feeder until yesterday. I'm glad they're enjoying it as they are fun to have around.
It was a 4 sparrow day at the feeders, and the newest was the Chipping Sparrow looking so much brighter and cheerier than the other birds.
The Chipping Sparrow's choice of seed was the white millet which it scrounged from the ground and from the tube feeder.
Another millet-lover was the Lincoln's Sparrow which was a first-ever sighting in my yard.
The Lincoln's seemed shy at first but it didn't take long before it was a regular with the Juncos, Fox Sparrow, Gold-crowns, and Towhees picking up millet from below the feeder.
The Lincoln's was quite happy feeding on the ground, but later in the day, it was attacked by a Gold-crown. After that it decided to make itself at home in the tray feeder.
Apr. 21 - LONG-BILL DAY - A book order from Monro's was a good excuse to chase a few long-billed birds in Victoria.
Whimbrels regularly book their tee times at the Victoria Golf Club for late Apr., and as Agnes Lynn kindly reported, they were on schedule. There's usually a Marbled Godwit or two with them, but today it was a Long-billed Dowitcher. As I was returning to my vehicle on a side street, a kindly gentleman named Peter asked about my camera and lens. I was happy to show him the camera, and he asked if I sold pictures. I explained that there wasn't much demand for pictures so I produced a book instead. He ended up buying 5 books, and one of them was for his good friend, Marshall Illif, who was a member of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker discovery team.
The Whimbrels were fun to watch as they flew to the course to scavenge for worms until another group of golfers flushed them back to the offshore rocks.
Whimbrel-on-the-rocks - The ocean rocks make a much better setting for photos than the golf course.
Usually the Marbled Godwit hangs with the Whimbrels, but this one was a loner.
Regardless of whether the bill is down-curved or up-curved, it's good tool for picking worms.
I don't get many opportunities to see the long-billed, long-legged shorebirds so it's always a treat when I do see them. Occasionally, a few Whimbrels and Godwits will hang around for a month or two in the fall but only in Victoria.
Besides the one on the golf course, there were another 4 at Clover Point. However, there may now be only 3 as the Peregrine Falcon had its claws on one.
A short-legged shorebird - As the Savannah Sparrow said, "You don't have to be a shorebird to enjoy the salty shoreline insects.
The Odd Couple - The Dunlin and Sanderling at Clover Point know a thing or two about shoreline feeding.
A month ago the Sanderling was all gray. Now it's a brilliant white with a couple of orange scapulars. It'll look great in a few weeks.
I'd love to see the shorebirds in full breeding plumage. Maybe I need to go to Alaska.
I've been looking for perching Northern Rough-winged Swallows for 2 years. Finally, I found them at Somenoes Marsh.
Now that I've got the Northern Rough-winged, please tell me where I can get a perching Cliff Swallow.
Apr. 22 - A Solitaire-y Afternoon - Last year I saw the Townsend's Solitaire at several places, but they were eluding me this year until today. I caught a glimpse of a gray bird at the back of my feeder tree. It disappeared before I could get a good look at it. 5 minutes later, it was back and the white eye-ring was unmistakeable. The Townsend's Solitaire had come to me!
I was using Ann Nightingale's bullrush trick to entice the female Rufous Hummingbirds while I waited for the gray bird to return.
Meanwhile a pair of male Northern Flickers were engaged in their rivalry power struggle. The one on the left eventually won as the the other backed off in defeat.
Finally, the Townsend's Solitaire emerged from the holly tree. It was worth waiting for. Last year I had 2 Townsend's visiting my yard. I was happy to see one today. I hope it has a mate nearby.
It seemed that spiders were one of its favorite meals.
I enjoyed the company of the Townsend's for the whole afternnon. I'm not sure if it left or was just sleeping in the holly tree. (As of 4:57 pm Apr. 23, the Solitaire was still enjoying my hospitality.)
After a few spiders, it would fly back to the holly tree for a rest and holly berry dessert.
NANAIMO - BACKYARD WILDBIRD & NATURE STORE SAVE-ON FOODS (WOODGROVE) SAVE-ON FOODS (COUNTRY CLUB) CHAPTERS FALCONER BOOKS COLE'S PORT ALBERNI - CLOCKTOWER GALLERY COURTENAY - GRAHAM'S JEWELLERS SAVE-ON FOODS SIDNEY - VICTORIAN BIRD HOUSE COMOX - BLUE HERON BOOKS BOWSER - LIGHTHOUSE GIFTS DEEP BAY - SAANICH - WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED VICTORIA - BOLEN BOOKS MUNRO'S CAMPBELL RIVER - CAMPBELL RIVER MUSEUM BOOK BONANZA SAVE-ON FOODS DUNCAN - VOLUME 1 BOOKSTORE CHEMAINUS - LITTLE SHOP OF NOVELS LADYSMITH - SALAMANDER BOOKS NANOOSE - SCHOONER COVE MARINA SOOKE - SOOKE HARBOUR HOUSE Comments, questions, or book orders? email email@example.com
NANAIMO - BACKYARD WILDBIRD & NATURE STORE
SAVE-ON FOODS (WOODGROVE)
SAVE-ON FOODS (COUNTRY CLUB)
PORT ALBERNI - CLOCKTOWER GALLERY
COURTENAY - GRAHAM'S JEWELLERS
SIDNEY - VICTORIAN BIRD HOUSE
COMOX - BLUE HERON BOOKS
BOWSER - LIGHTHOUSE GIFTS
DEEP BAY -
SAANICH - WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED
VICTORIA - BOLEN BOOKS
CAMPBELL RIVER - CAMPBELL RIVER MUSEUM
DUNCAN - VOLUME 1 BOOKSTORE
CHEMAINUS - LITTLE SHOP OF NOVELS
LADYSMITH - SALAMANDER BOOKS
NANOOSE - SCHOONER COVE MARINA
SOOKE - SOOKE HARBOUR HOUSE
Comments, questions, or book orders? email firstname.lastname@example.org