I have decided to let the photos speak for themselves today.
I truly need a vacation, this province is killing me.
Wood Ducks at Reifel:
An extremely elegant female Wood Duck:
Spotted Towhee with dragonfly:
Bald Eagle in coniferous tree by entrance (you just knew I'd slip one in!):
Rufous Hummingbird (I am now going to go back and delete last week's pics after seeing these):
Saved the best at Reifel for last, this is a Sandhill Crane on the nest, people!! The first egg was laid on May 1st, followed by a second on May 3rd, predicted hatch date is the first week of June. Let's hope they have more success this year vs. last, as last year's eggs were lost. Here's hoping, momma!
Nice bustle; and check out the size of those eggs!
So in a very weak moment, after being teased with the possibility of adding a Black Oystercatcher to my Life List, I departed Reifel Bird Sanctuary for the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (up until now did I not know how many ways that name can be mispelled, BTW. I have a map in front of me, I kid you not). I initially parked for 20 minutes as I didn't see much in the way of birds, but once I started walking back along the jetty, (dodging cars coming off the ferry from Vancouver Island), I realized I had hit the motherlode, so ran back to add more parking time and then went beserk:
Surf Scoters; ok, granted, these are not Lifers for me, but seeing them in +15º temps is a new concept, as I usually only see them in the dead of winter at the west end of Lake Ontario, with my hands frozen solid to my scope. My field guide indicates that these would be lazy, teenage nonbreeders that have opted to oversummer in their winter range- who knew??!!
Admittedly these are not the best pics, but I'm thrilled with them regardless, as they do show the male's wonderfully coloured bill, particularly striking against his black plumage. Plus it is 15º out, and I managed these photos without a windchill of -30º.
I continued along the jetty, and almost threw myself down onto the rocks when I discovered 3 pairs of Harlequin Ducks, which Doug, John, and Jim know how much I despise these disgusting critters (this when I ran back to the car to add more parking $$):
Also had numerous Brant, yet another Lifer for me:
But still missing out on my target bird (remember the Black Oystercatcher??), I headed off for home, and wouldn't you know it, as I'm driving back along the jetty, I look off to the right and see the suckers on the rocks, their long red bills just taunting me, with nowhere safe for me to pull off, arghhhhhhhhhh. Too bad, but I still am counting them as my second Lifer for the day, with more possibly to follow as I have some mystery birds to work on before I grovel once again with Les!
Many thanks today for Bob-at-Reifel's kind words and advice/recommendations for me as well!