Journal 234 - Dec. 3, 2007
None of this has any relevance to birding, but I just wanted you to know that I occasionally do things that aren't birding related. After all, variety is the spice of life. Okay, back to birding. Right now it's just feeder birds I'm watching, but the day before the snow storm, I did manage a quick hour at the Reifel Refuge in Ladner and a half hour at Blackie Spit in White Rock. Yes, an hour is too short, but it's better than nothing. It was my first and maybe my only visit for 2007, but I have every intention of getting there more often in the future.
A REIFEL HOUR - Reifel is always popular spot for photographers and the first bird of interest has to be the Black-crowned Night Herons. I've only seen one on Vancouver Island and that was a juvenile at the Hatchery near Ucluelet. It was interesting to see a group of 5 adults at Reifel right across from the office. It seems likely that the Night-herons nest there. Has anyone ever documented a nest or fledglings?
The bright red eye of Black-crowned Night Heron is amazing - it like a big red stop light.
Getting a clear shot today was difficult as most of them roosted behind branches.
On my return visit one of them was fully exposed, but it was half asleep.
Black-capped Chickadees are always a novelty for me as we only have the Chestnut-backed on Vancouver Island. They were very tame as one landed on my camera while I was taking a photo near one of the feeders.
The Belted Kingfisher is generally very shy and unapproachable, but I spotted one through a maze of branches. The setting was very dark which posed exposure difficulties, but it was fairly close and worth a couple of shots.
Most of the kingfishers I have photographed were males. It was about time I got another female.
Great Blue Herons were common and as usual, very easy to photograph. They always seem so lonely and depressed. Look at the hunched shouders. That's a sure sign of low self-esteem.
A BLACKIE SPIT HALF HOUR - I'd never been to Blackie Spit, and it was a toss-up between Boundary Bay and the spit. Rationalizing that a half hour wouldn't do Boundary Bay any justice, I opted to check out Blackie Spit which I'd never seen before. As a venue for bird watching, it was a very interesting location. However, for bird photography, it was very limiting. Good photography depends on being able to get fairly close to the birds, and that wasn't possble with the with the wide open space and restricted areas. I did get a few distant shots, but next time I'll opt for Boundary Bay.
It's always fun to watch Common Loons eating. Unfortunately, they don't like an audience and invariable dive and come up at a distance. It also didn't help to have to gulls harassing it every time it surfaced.
I'm not sure what the loon was eating, but it might have been an octopus or something else with suction cups. Regardless, the loon made several unsuccessful attempts to swallow it and was still trying when I left.
The expected Marbled Godwits were busy along the shoreline, but there was no sign of the Long-billed Curlews.
SIDNEY - VICTORIAN BIRD HOUSE, TANNER'S BOOKSTORE COMOX - BLUE HERON BOOKS BOWSER - LIGHTHOUSE GIFTS DEEP BAY - SHIP & SHORE VICTORIA - BOLEN BOOKS, MUNRO'S, Crown Publications, Ivy's UCLUELET - WORDS END BOOKSELLERS Comments, questions, or book orders? email firstname.lastname@example.org
SAANICH - WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED
CAMPBELL RIVER - SAVE-ON FOODS
DUNCAN - VOLUME 1 BOOKSTORE
CHEMAINUS - Willow's Wild Bird Store
LADYSMITH - SALAMANDER BOOKS
NANOOSE - SCHOONER COVE MARINA
LAKE COWICHAN - GALLOPING MOON GALLERY
TOFINO - BOTANICAL GARDENS
Quadra Island - EXPLORE & BOOK BONANZA
SIDNEY - VICTORIAN BIRD HOUSE, TANNER'S BOOKSTORE
COMOX - BLUE HERON BOOKS
BOWSER - LIGHTHOUSE GIFTS
DEEP BAY - SHIP & SHORE
VICTORIA - BOLEN BOOKS, MUNRO'S, Crown Publications, Ivy's
UCLUELET - WORDS END BOOKSELLERS
Comments, questions, or book orders? email email@example.com