Apr. 14/05 - FINALLY! It only took about 20 hours of frustrating phone calls to Yahoo, but now I've got enough disk space for more than 20 years. The worst part was that their system for upgrading didn't work and none of the 20 hours of phone calls was useful. Anyway, it makes me sick to think about the wasted time and effort so let's get on to birding.

It's been almost a week since I had a chance to get out so I was anxious to take advantage of the blue skies today. The frost sparkled in the spring sun as I peered outside this morning. Leaves were flying helter-skelter in my garden as a dozen Varied Thrush foraged for their breakfast. There was a frenzy of activity at the hummingbird feeders while a Chestnut-backed Chickadee looked comical with a moustache of grass protruding from the sides of its tiny bill.

My first destination was Dolphin Lake, and I was saddened to see that the Starlings had evicted the Northern Flickers and taken over the nest. I silently hoped that the Flicker wasn't killed as was the case in my backyard many years ago. Meanwhile, Song Sparrows and Redwing Blackbirds carried on with their courtship and nesting activities while Buffleheads, Ring-necks, and Mallards lazed in the morning sun across the lake. A little Ruby-crown popped out of the willow and blackberry thicket to say hello and disappeared just as quickly. Looking back at the Starling nest, I was surprised to see a Tree Swallow checking out a smaller hole. It hung around for a few photos then glided away to catch a few more insects.

My next stop was the golf course where I had seen 2 Townsend Solitaires the day before. I wasn't disappointed not to find them as I didn't expect that they would hang around (triple negative!). I headed for Craig Bay to check out the Violet-green Swallows. The sun was at the right angle and a couple of Violet-greens cooperated on their roosting tree. At San Malo I checked for the first peeps or maybe a Blue-winged Teal, but there were only Green-winged Teal grovelling in the mud. With huge thunder clouds rolling in from Qualicum, my last stop was Parksville Beach. Funny how everthing was so quiet after the Brant festival. There were only a few gulls, crows, and Canada Geese, and ... 2 different geese. I took out my camera and checked - 2 lovely Greater White-fronted Geese. It was a nice way to end my day.

Apr. 8/05 - As the sun was shining, I offered to take my wife for a coffee at Cha Cha's in Parksville. (I've used that excuse before.) Naturally, I threw in the camera and tripod just in case. On the way we took a little detour to Rathtrevor and managed to find a delightful Orange-crowned Warbler. On the way home we took a little detour down Kaye Road and ran into a couple of Townsend Solitaire. The coffee was good too.

Hummers at Home - I never get tired of taking hummer photos. Someday I'll get the perfect one.

Apr. 14/05

Foraging for Breakfast - My garden was alive this morning with a flock of Varied Thrush tossing leaves all over looking for a few tasty treats.

Encore - I think I saw last week's Ruby-crown this morning at Dolphin Lake. I enjoyed my Ruby-crown photos from last week so much that I'm posting another one.

House-hunting - The Tree Swallow was checking out some woodpecker holes for a possible nest site. Maybe I should build a few swallow houses.

Violet & Green - The beautiful colours of the Violet-green Swallow are difficult to appreciate unless they are sitting in the sun.

Another Festival? - After hearing about the recent Brant Festival, 2 Greater White-fronted Geese dropped into Parksville today to enquire about a Greater White-fronted Festival. Stay tuned ...

Message from Harry - Sometimes you have to give your head a shake!


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