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

Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Hummer and Warblers and Wrens, Oh My"

On Thursday, April 29th, I spent time at both Serpentine Fen and Elgin Park, netting out with 2½ Lifers (explanation to follow re the ½), and adding seven to my Year List, not bad for a mere four hours. And thanks up front go to Les in West Van for helping me identify a few mystery birds!

I began at the Fen, quite a good birding area that I discovered during last November's visit. I love its habitat diversity which includes marshy areas, numerous hedgerows that are rich with birds, as well as large, open fields that can be feeding grounds for raptors, as well as fly-overs for Bald Eagles (and yes, I did see two Bald Eagles perched on a utility pole by the highway the Fen borders on.)

Here are two Wrens, the first one is a Bewick's Wren, what I'm calling the "½" Lifer, as last November I had only a fleeting, naked-eye glimpse of one as pointed out to me by another birder and I "gave it a tick" back then. This time I not only observed it through my binos, but even managed a photo, so now consider this a FULL "tick". Les helped me out with this, what threw me off was the definite brown colour, as opposed to gray in my field guide sketch, but apparently the dorsal colour varies according to location. Next time I will read the fine print, I need all the help I can get:

Here's a Marsh Wren that was chattering away, competing with another male that was deep down in the reeds:


Had wonderful views of a Yellow-rumped Warbler, as well as of a Common Yellowthroat:

Had great success with assorted waterfowl, including American Coots, Gadwalls, Mallards, both Green- and Blue-winged Teals, a Great Blue Heron, a Pied-bill Grebe, and Northern Shovelers, here's the male; nice schnozz, but his stunning colouration makes up for it:

A female Red-winged Blackbird, I still recall my initial surprise a few years ago as to how different she is from the raucous male:

Both White- and Golden-crowned Sparrows were plentiful, here's the latter:


One of my target birds was the Bushtit, thanks again to Les for the identification, making it a true Lifer for me, although I believe it's quite a common, year-round bird in this area. It can be described as chickadee-like, but with a longer tail, and IMHO, is a slimmed-down version of the Chickadee, quite the sweet lil thing amongst the blossoms! 

At the recommendation of another kind birder/photographer that I met at the Fen, I made my way to Elgin Park, on the north side of Crescent Road that overlooks Mud Bay, if I'm not mistaken, these will give you an idea of the place:

Check out the mountains in the background, we sure don't have this as a back-drop in Ontario, waah:

My other Lifer for the day was this gorgeous Rufous Hummingbird that caught my eye purely by chance as the sun reflected off it as it flew into a tree, and yup, this is my BOTD, what a TREAT:

1 comment:

Alison said...

You should turn these ones into a set of note cards. They are absolutely gorgeous. Seems as if the weather is gorgeous too.