Reifel: May 1st 2010

With my exams finally over and having had a bit of a break, which involved two Chipping Sparrows at Stanley Park, I managed to get out to Reifel Bird Sanctuary. It seems my exams were perfectly timed to coincide with the main push of the spring migration; sufficed to say it was quite difficult trying to study while all of this was going on outside but I’m glad they’re over and done with so that now I can focus on what really matters…birding!

The weather was fairly pleasant, though a touch breezy, and it was not as busy as I had expected it to be; the parking lot was only three quarters full. Frankly, it could have been below zero and hailing and I still would’ve had a good time.

In the pond nearby the entrance a pair of Blue-winged Teals were busy feeding on any invertebrates, seeds, or aquatic plants present there (1). I had some excellent looks at the two but frustratingly as I was about to take some pictures they took flight. This did, however, provide the opportunity to observe the species’ namesake; its blue wing coverts.

Along the easternmost trail I came across a splendid Common Yellowthroat in full song. You can listen to a number of recordings for this species at xeno-canto. Further along both Myrtle and Audubon’s variety of Yellow-rumped Warbler were active in the trees along the path.

Looking west across the marsh and out towards the Georgia Straight there didn’t appear to be much going on besides swallows, mostly tree with a couple of Barn, and Red-winged Blackbirds. I decided to wait it out a bit and after ten minutes or so a Peregrine Falcon surprisingly took flight from a clump of brush. I didn’t notice him land there so I wonder if it wasn’t feeding on something. The falcon caused a bit of a panic with the other birds and it managed to flush out a small flock of Western Sandpiper and an American Bittern. It’s amazing that, with a little bit of patience, a seemingly deserted marsh can hold so many great birds!

Reference:

  1. Rohwer, Frank C., William P. Johnson and Elizabeth R. Loos. 2002. Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/bna/species/625doi:10.2173/bna.625
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