Aug. 10 - Skunked in Victoria
Aug. 10 - Skunked in Victoria
I've yet to find a Barn Swallow on a tree or snag this year so I had to settle for the barbed wire shot. The good news was that I was able to drive quite close to them and shoot from the car window. Actually I was too close for any depth of field. It's not your eyes; the head is out of focus. I think the dark orange throat indicates the bird is an adult Barn Swallow.
The pale throat and chest indicates that this is an immature Barn Swallow.
This young Barn Swallow wasn't the least bit interested in my photography.
There was one stranger in the crowd. I think it was an immature Violet-green Swallow.
Aug. 10 - Holden Creek - Mosquito Heaven
Late afternoon was not the best time for shorebirding, but there was a small flock of about 30. Most were juvenile Least and Westerns, but I managed to find a couple of Semi's.
I'm hoping my photos have some educational value. I'm trying to illustrate the bill structure of the Semipalmated Sandpiper - short and straight with a widening at the tip.
One of these days I'm hoping that one of my Semipalmated Sandpipers will actually be a Stint.
Aug. 14 - Yellowlegs Time
For the next while there should be a steady showing of small groups of Lesser Yellowlegs at Holden. There were 5 Lessers and 1 Greater today. Notice the relatively short, straight bill of the Lesser.
Greater Yellowlegs tend to be more solitary than the Lesser. They are often seen as groups of 1. Does that make sense? Anyway, notice the longish, slightly upcurved bill.
Oh, yes! The annual instructional photo. With my poor depth-of-field I couldn't get them both in focus. Guess which is the Lesser and Greater.
I'm always happy to see a flock of immature Yellow-rumped Warblers as I have some irrational fear that they will all be replaced by Cowbirds.
I always enjoy seeing immature birds. They're not a photogenic as the mature males, but they are a sign that their breeding environment hasn't been totally destroyed.
The Yellow Warbler has to be one of the shyest birds around. I waited half an hour before it finally emerged from the depth of a tangle of willows and blackberries.
Aug. 7 - Flashback
Another instructional item. You may have been perplexed by a reference that the Green Heron belonged to a group of long-necked herons. You probably think it's more related to the Hunch-back of Notre Dame. I did too until I saw it in action.
Apparently, the Green Heron has a spring-loaded neck just like a jack-in-the-box.
Aug. 15 - North to Mud Heaven
If you ever contemplate walking through the mud at the head of Oyster Bay at low tide, DON'T! I did once and was lucky to survive. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but it's over a foot deep in a lot of places, and it is sticky and messy.
A quick stop at the Courtenay Airpark yielded the expected Northern Pintails. They are supposed to be the early arrivals after their early departure. The only other ducks around were Mallards and Common Mergansers which breed locally.
Out of 200 peeps at Oyster Bay, there was 1 Baird's Sandpiper. Baird's have been relatively abundant for the previous 2 years, but this is the first I've seen this year.
Even the Western Sandpiper had trouble slogging through the goooooey mud.
The peeps had to fly back down to the water once in a while to wash their feet off. Actually, they flew every time the nearby Purple Martins sounded the alarm. It was fun to see a mob of Purple Martins putting the chase on a Merlin.
Harlequins on the rocks was a common scene as I neared Campbell River.
I expected to see large flocks of Bonapartes along the beach, but the predominant bird was the Mew Gull. There was only the occasional Bonaparte.
A few of the gulls were still looking sharp in their breeding plumage.
Aug. 17 - A Peepful Evening
As I was heading past Cedar again, I had to make the requisite peep stop. It was another peaceful evening with nothing but the mosquitoes, peeps, and myself. Since I had double-sprayed myself with repellent, the mosquitoes weren't a factor. I didn't notice any raptors around, but every once in awhile, a peep would sound the alarm and off they would go.
Fortunately, I was standing by their favorite puddle so they returned every time.
There were about 250 juvenile peeps: 80% Westerns, 17% Least, and 3% Semipalmated. A Least decided to have its bath and do its grooming right in front of me.
The Semipalmated is still my favorite. Notice the difference in colour between this photo and the next one.
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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 - Ship & SHORE
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
LAKE COWICHAN - GALLOPING MOON GALLERY
TOFINO - BOTANICAL GARDENS
UCLUELET - WORDS END BOOKSELLERS
Comments, questions, or book orders? email firstname.lastname@example.org