Friday, August 30, 2013

A visit to Vancouver Island and some more shots from Wilband Ponds Aug 17-30 2013

 A bit of a mismash for this blog.  We visited Vancouver Island for a few days but didn't get much birding in.  However a visit to Goldstream Park revealed  the most American Dippers I have seen anywhere in one spot.  (As many as 4 in one pool and 7 in total).  The Victoria waterfront got us the first Heermans Gulls we have seen in a while as well as a Mink using a drainage pipe for its' den.  Wilband Ponds (my local patch) seems to be getting better for birds since it was "improved" last year
A pair of Heermans Gulls.
This Mink was hesitant to venture out as a dog was terrorizng the wildlife on the Victoria waterfront

American Dipper 

Dipper looking for aquatic insects.

It found something.

I am guessing Caddis Fly larvae as it would shake it trying to remove the casing the Caddis Fly envelopes itself in. 
Back to Wilband where a family of Barn Swallows was using a bridge as a platform to stock up on bugs.

Using the young ones chest as a support.

Adult wondering where the bugs went.  I got a few pictures one evening and went back next morning.  They were still there but were gone that afternoon.
This Green Heron flew up in front of me, circled back and landed in a tree not far away.  Sometimes I can't figure these guys out.
When I walk around Wilband I will stay quiet and still for a few minutes when I am in a likely place to find birds or animals.  This gives the animals that I can't see, a chance to settle down and get back to doing things they were doing before I arrived. It paid off when I was on a bridge.  After about 5 minutes this American Bittern started moving right below and completely caught me off guard.
The long grass made it impossible to get a full body shot
It caught 2 fish while I watched and every time the action was hidden by the grass.
I love this pose.  It can look straight down without moving its' head.
After 45 minutes it strolled behind a clump of grass.  I waited 15 minutes for it to emerge. I then decided to check it out from another angle only to find it wasn't there.  I hadn't taken my eyes off that clump but somehow it managed to disappear.

This shot was taken the next day in the same spot.  It is a bit agitated and puffed out his neck feathers.  I wanted to circle around it to catch the rising sun light but as soon as I left the bridge and entered its' domain I could tell it wasn't comfortable.

Dian and I heading to the Oregon coast on Sept. 3 for a week and then up to Uclulet for a pelagic trip.  Hopefully the next blogs will detail our discoveries.  Stay in touch and thanks for looking.

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