Sat., Dec. 11, 2004 - The forecast of sunny periods in the morning was the only invitation I needed to do a little Saturday birding. Our destination was the Blackfin Pub in Comox, but that was for lunch. On the way we would check out Deep Bay, Ship's Point, and Union Bay. After lunch, we would visit Goose Spit and Little River.

DUNLINS IN THE WIND - Like a ballet in the sky the Dunlin flock at Comox (Little River) would rise in unison, bank, rise, slide, glide, dive and rise again in a sychronous motion as if it were all meticulously choreographed.

DEEP BAY DENIZENS - It's almost a guarantee that you'll find a flock of Long-tailed Ducks off the tip of Deep Bay Spit all winter. They always look like they need a face wash.

LONG-NECKED BUFFLEHEAD - All of us who are vertically challenged have tricks to make ourselves look bigger. As our smallest duck, the Bufflehead can look as tall as a Ruddy Duck by stretching its neck out.

FANNY BAY BIRDS - The calm waters of the Fanny Bay area are a favorite habitat for many ducks including the Greater Scaup.

YEAR OF THE ROBIN - Huge flocks of American Robins have been a common sight on the Nanoose peninsula this fall.

Dec. 17/04 - My excuse for going to Parksville today was to buy a Christmas tree at Buckerfields. On the way home, I took the leisurely route along Powder Point Road, Fairwinds, and Schooner Cove, making many birding stops along the way. At Brickyard Bay, I spotted a flock of 7 Horned Grebes diving and feeding together in a tight-knit group. I've never seen more than 2 or 3 together except for last winter when I saw a flock of 7 in exactly the same spot. Was this just a coincidence or was it the same bunch? What's all this got to do with robins you ask? Well, the continuous chirping of hoards of robins filled the air and arbutus trees behind me. Hundreds of American Robins and the occasional Varied Thrush and Northern Flicker were feasting on the arbutus berries.


Seeing the Anna's Hummingbirds on Dec. 15 during the Christmas Bird Count reminded me of a couple of unposted Rufous photos in my collection from the summer. They're 2 of my favorites so I hope you'll enjoy them.

ALL GROWN UP - The juvie Rufous shows off the wings and tail feathers that will take it all the way to Mexico and South America.

ALL THAT GLISTENS ISN'T GOLD - The gorgeous gorget of the male Rufous is truly an amazing appendage capable of reflecting all the colors of the rainbow. It may be worth its weight in gold if that's what attracts the ladies.