Dec. 8/04


After 4 days without taking a picture, I was suffering from a severe case of camera withdrawal. I was disappointed to wake up to another dismal gray day of showers. However, after a light breakfast and a glance at the weather channel, I felt optimistic about a few sunny breaks and maybe a little photo-birding. My goal was the Common Goldeneye which have been showing up in increasing numbers in the past week. Parksville was enveloped in a huge black cloud and vigorous showers as I headed north, but by north Qualicum, I was in marvellous sunshine. My first stop was the wildlife viewing platform where there were only a few Buffleheads and a Common Loon. Heading slowly back south, I scanned the high tide waters for Common Goldeneye. It didn't take long to find a few close in to the Shady Rest restaurant where I got photos of the male. (High tide at Qualicum is great for duck hunting with a camera.) A stop at French Creek produced photos of a female and juvenile. Mission accomplished.

HANDSOME DUCK - With its glossy green hairdo and stylish black and white outfit, the male Common Goldeneye has no problem attracting the ladies.

GOOD GROOMING IS ESSENTIAL - Looking good and feeling good are 2 keys for a happy and healthy life.

FRENCH CREEK FEEDER - As I suspected, there were several Common Goldeneyes hanging out at French Creek with a few Buffleheads and Common Mergansers. A juvenile and adult female were conveniently feeding in the creek near the parking lot.


With the goldeneyes taken care of, I searched the harbour for some cormorants then headed home with a little detour to San Pareil.

SUN WORSHIPPER - I wasn't the only one enjoying the sunshine. There were several Double-crested Cormorants sunning themselves on top of ships' masts.

SEA WORSHIPPERS - The Dunlin at San Pareil reminded me of Black-bellied Plovers in the way they stared out to sea while they were resting.

REAL MEAL DEAL - I didn't see the "down-the-hatch" part, but I suspect the Red-breasted merganser had no problem swallowing the fish. It must have an expanding esophagus just like a snake.