Feb. 7/05 - NANAIMO DAY - My wife had to get new brake lines in her '88 Honda this morning. That gave me a window of opportunity to get out of work, earn some brownie points, and get in some birding. I offered to entertain her with a little Nanaimo birding while she waited for her car. She didn't have any better offers, so after a Starbuck's we were off to Buttertubs Marsh where we saw birds, beavers, and raccoons. The highlight was a large flock of Cedar Waxwings with a few oversized waxwings lurking in the shadows. Unfortunately, they wouldn't come out into the sun to be identified and photographed, but next time. After Buttertubs, we headed to Cedar to look for an A. Black Duck. No luck, but I was happy with the consolation prize - a female Canvasback. On the way home, I spotted a Red-breasted Merganser on the beach at Nanoose Flats. Crawling through the broom bushes, I managed to get within 30' for a fine photo. It was a good day.
BREAKFAST AT BUTTERTUBS - The Cedar Waxwings showed no signs of shyness as they gorged Hawthorne berries within a few feet of us.
SOUR BERRY? - They're not all sweet, but the worse it tastes, the better it is for you. Right?
RASCALLY RACCOONS - First we saw the raccoons swimming in the marsh. When we came back, they were sunning themselves in an alder tree.
SPARROW TREE - I checked the House Sparrow tree just befor leaving Buttertubs. Among the many House Sparrows was a Song Sparrow and a Lincoln's Sparrow.
CONSOLATION PRIZE - I made my annual stop at the Crow and Gate to try to find an A. Black Duck. I was skunked again, but I was more than happy to finally get a close up of a Canvasback.
BIG BIRDS - I suspect that the Island population of Trumpeters must be quite healthy. They seem to be quite plentiful in Cedar.
SMILE! - The Red-breasted Merganser at Nanoose Flats couldn't figure out where the clicking was coming from. It helped to have the highway traffic drown out the noise of my approach.