Mar. 2 - HERRING TIME
The fleet of fish boats and herring skiffs were parked at like a city in the herring spawn-laden turquoise waters at the edge of Parksville Bay. Gulls of every description covered the shoreline like a blanket of snow while others were cruising the shallow waters along with 1,000's of ducks scooping up the delicious caviar. Once again, it was time for the annual herring spawn.
CAVIAR TREAT - Life couldn't be sweeter for the gulls as they effortlessly devoured as much herring roe as they wanted. Quite a change from their normal life as scavengers. (If you look closely, you can see herring eggs in the bill of the gull.)
GULLS BY THE 1000's - Gulls from all over flocked to the Mid-island like students to a free lunch.
DABBLING FOR CAVIAR - It wasn't just the diving ducks that enjoyed the annual feast, the dabbling ducks joined the banquet too.
WAITING PATIENTLY - The Common Goldeneye relaxed in the Schooner Cove marina knowing that the herring spawn would be down that way in 2 days.
GROWING PAINS - The juvenile Barrow's Goldeneye will soon have its adult colors.
Mar. 3 - UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
A MAGICAL MOMENT - It's always magical when I get close to a wild bird, not just visually to see the details of of its feathers and structure, but also mentally wondering what it is thinking, why is it tolerating my presence, and how it will react. There is also a feeling of awe just like you're next to a superstar or supreme being, after all, birds are superior beings. I had all those feelings today as I approached this juvenile Bald Eagle at Rathtrevor Beach this morning. From 100 feet I stopped every 5 steps to click a photo, thinking that it would fly any time. But, it seemed unaffected, indifferent to my presence. Soon I was within 40 feet, then 30, 20, 10 ... I felt that I could take a few more steps and actually touch it, but I didn't. I stood in admiration for about 5 minutes, took a few more pictures, then quietly left.
The herring spawn continued in Parksville Bay, but it had also extended south to Rathtrevor.
VISITING WITH THE BRANT - The Brant were coming in regularly at Admiral's Lagoon, but so were the eagles. They would barely get settled before they were flushed by another eagle. It was a great time to work on flight shots. (Notice the turquoise water from the herring spawn.)