Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bonus Morning at Serpentine Fen, despite the weather forecast

Ignoring the Weather Network, I dashed off for what was supposed to be not even an hour, and ended up staying for three hours, with some good birds on the menu and a surprise discovery at the end. Here are some info signs for the area that is now my second home here in B.C., for my Ontario friends:

On the raptor front, I had this Northern Harrier out hunting, which appears to be a juvenile, based on its unstreaked belly:


And ho hum, more Bald Eagles, they are soooooo annoying, they're just everywhere, two were soaring overhead, and this young one was perched on a utility pole:

As for ducks and herons, there were Greater Scaup (John will have my head on a platter if I'm wrong but am going by the rounded vs. peaked head, as well as the amount of black on the bill tip, how'd I do, John??!!):


Great Blue Heron on the fly:

Some very cooperative Green-winged Teals:

Returning to the parking lot, I finally located this Spotted Towhee that was singing (if you can call it that) away:

Then the fun begins, I was loitering around the parking lot in search of my (Lifer) Bushtits from a few days ago, and sure enough, I saw them flying back and forth to this tall cedar. Upon closer inspection I discovered a nest, which my field guide describes as "an elaborate hanging structure", and they're not kidding, this thing was probably a foot long, oblong in shape, and is attached to the underside of a cedar branch, weighing it down, with a small, ~ two inch access hole, which is dead centre in the photo below:

I watched as the pair brought in nesting material, or so I thought until I downloaded my photos, in fact they were delivering food, ie green caterpillars or grubs, although I didn't hear any sounds to indicate nestlings inside. Here goes with assorted photos, the female has the paler eyes, compared to the male's darker eyes, and they both seemed to share equal time when it came to the feeding, as one would disappear inside for a few seconds, then fly out again:

The male has the pale green grub in his beak...

...and in he goes to deliver it:

Now it's her turn:

Here's mom again with more grub:

So despite no new birds today (other than my very first Canada Goose for this trip), the privilege of observing these hard-working Bushtits at their nest for an hour added some sunshine to an otherwise dreary day in B.C. (it's now pouring rain outside), hence they're my BOTD!


Ann Brokelman said...

Very nice Janice. You are seeing so much out in BC. It is a good time to travel. Must remember it for next year. Ann

janice.melendez said...

thx, Ann, and yes, is a good time for here, certainly better weather-wise too vs. last November when here for the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (it rained for 9 out of my 10 days here).

Shiprockrl said...

Very nice to have met you on the birding park a few days ago just as I was leaving, and ditto today. I went back to try for some shots of the bushtit couple, and managed to get a lot of nice shots, some of which are on my Flickr site. So beaucoup de gracius for the pointer about these little birds.

Also, the blog I mentioned was:
A friend writes and illustrates it with photos - she is Carol (I call her CC, she calles me shiprock, she is a music teacher at a private school in North Vancouver.)

CC has been doing a nice job documenting an osprey family at the south foot of Fell Ave in NVan, last year and again this year. Last year she named the chick "Rose", and it was to no avail when I advised I had previously named it "Ophelia", and now she has the mom and dad named too. By an democratic electoral vote! So now I have to reformulate my tactics to try regain the upper hand, etc.

Actually, CC and I have been having a good time fussing about ospreys and their names.

But it was nice meeting you in the park, and I hope we will see each other again on the trail.
Cheers, shiprock.