MAR. 22/05 - BONDING WITH THE BRANT
As many of you know, the 15th Annual Brant Wildlife Festival is happening on Apr. 8 - 10 in the Parksville - Qualicum region. Check the website www.brantfestival.bc.ca for a schedule of events. If you can't make the festival, come anytime in the next few weeks as the area is alive with Brant, ducks, and returning migrants.
I spent an hour bonding with the Brant this morning at Parksville Beach. A cold winter breeze must have kept all the walkers at home leaving the beach for the Brant, gulls, and myself. I planted myself on the south end of the beach while a flock of about 130 Brant gradually worked its way towards me. They came within about 50 feet which was just fine for my 800 mm lens. I watched for about an hour snapping about a 100 photos and enjoying their little games. I don't know anything about their behavior, but it seemed most were paired up and didn't hesitate to chase off any intruders. After an hour the cold got to me so I headed for Qualicum to check on the ducks and Bonies. Good thing I left as I heard the weather got pretty miserable. My timing was perfect as I never saw a drop of rain all day.
CRASHING THE PARTY - The eel grass must have been at my end of the beach as most of the flock came over. Some even flew from the other end.
CHOW TIME - There didn't seem to be any shortage of eel grass, sea lettuce, and maybe herring roe as everyone seemed to be busy eating.
PEACE - Everyone seemed to be happy until ...
RAGING HORMONES? - Stay away, she's mine!
Stay away - we're taken!
DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY - That's better. Everyone just relax and chill out.
WHAT'S DOING IN QUALICUM?
DUCKS UNLIMITED - Masses of ducks continue off the north end of Qualicum. Yes, the Harlequins are still around the rocks. (Couldn't resist taking a few more shots, but I promise this is the last Harlequin shot till fall.)
GUESS WHO'S BACK!
RUTHIE's BACK! - It seemed like everbody had their Rufous hummers back except me, but guess who greeted me as I looked outside yesterday morning (Mar. 20)? Yes, it was Ruthie, 2 days ahead of schedule from last year. She even beat Rudy who arrived today, a day later than last year.
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