Apr. 22, 2004

Hi Everybody,
The problem with living in Nanoose is that 80% of the time when it's supposed to rain, it doesn't. That makes planning the week very difficult. For example, the only sun forecast for the week was Monday morning. So I decided to go birding Monday and schedule chores for the rest of the week. Well, there was a shower Tue. morning but sun and more sun since. I couldn't resist - today had to be a birding day. I started off at the head waters of Enos Lake near Fairwinds to check out the Kingfishers and Wood Ducks. Next I stopped at the east side of Nanoose Bay to see if the flock of Band-tailed Pigeons was back from wherever they go for the winter. Finally, I decided to go to French Creek to practice "exposure compensation" with my camera. It was a fine day and I even have a few photos to show for it.



Photo left - A pair of Wood Ducks have been hanging out at Enos Pond. I hope they decide to use the nest box I put there last year.
Photo right - It is impossible to get close to the Wood Ducks and the Kingfishers. This shot of Mrs. Kingfisher from my car window was the best I could do today.

THE BAND-TAILED PIGEONS are back. I don't know how territorial they are, but the flock seems to hang around the east side of Nanoose Bay until the fall.



DOUBLE MERGANSER DAY - I always check the creek first and the specialty today was a male Common Merganser and 3 female Hooded Mergansers preoccupied with feeding in the shallow waters.


My reason for going to french Creek was to practice "exposure compensation" on gulls (thanks for the hint, Peter), but to my delight, I ran into my first PEEPS of the year.

A flock of about 30 Dunlin and 10 Western Sandpipers was feeding at the water's edge.

I'd never seen the Dunlin in it's breeding plumage - all I can say is beautiful!

The Western Sandpiper has been one of my favorites since I first encountered them last year.

MORNINGSTAR STOP - It was too beautiful out to go home so I stopped at the Morningstar ponds.

There were still a few Mallards, Ring-necked's, and Buffleheads in the Morningstar ponds. The only newcomers I saw were 3 ducklings.

The Morningstar ponds is an excellent site for close-up looks at the Yellow-rumped Warblers as they flit from tree to tree at the edge of the ponds.

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