May 6/05 - FREEDOM DAY! It's done! For the past few months I've been labouring at the computer trying to craft out 128 colour pages of my best photos for a hard cover self-publish book. I decided to self-publish mainly so that I could retain editorial and design control. My concept was for a coffee table book that would be attractive for non-birders and the general public to make them aware of some of the many wonderful birds that we are blessed with on Vancouver Island. It's the perfect Christmas gift for your non-birding friends. It's going to retail for $34.95, but for birding, naturalists, and other groups who order directly from me, the pre-publication price will be $25. Group orders with one cheque would be the ideal situation. It usually takes 5 weeks to complete the printing process so I expect to have it in my hands by the end of June. Now, back to the birds ...

May 1/05

PENTHOUSE GARDEN - Just sitting can be awfully boring so Mrs. Bald Eagle at Dolphin Lake has put in a few plants on her balcony and does a little treetop gardening. It certainly adds a little class to her treetop nest.

May 2 - Kaye Road

I made a quick stop to check for the Olive-sided Flycatcher or even a Kestral, but no luck. I did have a distant view of a McGillivray's Warbler but it was too far for a photo.

Mylitta crescent (thanks to all those who sent me the I.D.)

Quail seem to be everywhere, and they seemed to flush up just at the wrong time. I was just about to push the shutter on my first American Goldfinch of the year when it was frightened off by a couple of frightened quail.

May 6/05 - Legacy Marsh, Buttertubs, Crow & Gate, & Airport

On the way to Buttertubs, we made a quick stop at Legacy Marsh to see if the Willow Flycatchers were back yet. It was pretty quiet, but I had to take at least one picture. Since to Marsh Wren were lying low, I settled for an Orange-crowned Warbler.

BIG BIRD - Why do I always think of the Sesame Street Big Bird when I see the Bullock's? I don't mean any disrepect as I love the Bullock's. I wonder where he hides his girlfriend?

YELLOW FELLOW - I was trying so hard to get some good shots of a Yellow Warbler that I almost never got to the Bullock's. As it turned out, I got my best warbler shot down by the Bullock's anyway.

I was stalking the Bullock's when a yellow Warbler landed right behind me. Fortunately, it didn't leave when I turned my attention and camera in its direction.

Swallows were everywhere at the Crow & Gate. The Barn Swallows were gathering mud for their nest building while the Tree Swallows were picking up dried grass for their nests. The Violet-green were just cruising around catching insects. In fact, I think we saw a Violet-green feeding a young one as we drove in. Does that sound right?

SAVANNAH, SAVANNAH, SAVANNAH - No Vesper. I couldn't go by the airport without checking for the Vesper. I managed to see about a dozen Savannah's through my lens and missed about 5 more because I was too slow. With my luck, one was probably a Vesper.

Cover of my book.


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