Saturday, August 30, 2014

George C.Reifel Bird Sanctuary Aug. 30 2014

The welcoming committee.
This blog is about 3 hours at Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Ladner British Columbia.  This conservation area is well known to birders and the local general public as it provides an easy escape into nature from the city life of Vancouver and the suburbs.  Reports of a rare Ruff prompted us to drive the 82 kilometres.  This area butts up against the Strait Of Georgia and is adjacent to farmland.  As a result shorebirds and waterfowl are abundant during migration as well as their predators.  Today was no exception. The following pictures record our sightings.

Reifel Entrance
Gift shop and ticket window.
The ponds behind the gift shop always have an assortment of  birds.
A female Wood Duck searches for grain amongst the rocks.
Sandhill Cranes have made the sanctuary home.
The Cranes are very approachable.
This male can be quite aggressive during breeding season and has been known to attack visitors including myself.
Shipping lanes are in close proximity to the sanctuary.
A Sora always seemed to be hiding behind a reed.
Greater White-fronted Geese have just arrived from the north on their southerly migration.
A shorebirds nightmare-the Peregrine Falcon.
It was doing callisthenics for me.
I believe it was a little damp and it was drying off. 
There are many inlets and ponds for the waterfowl.
Dian has found something.   When looking for a rare bird always look for the birders first.
One of five Stilt Sandpipers we saw.  Mud on the bill can be misleading. 
Another view of the Stilt.
Our objective.  The Ruff, or to be more correct a Reeve-a female Ruff .
I have seen a few Ruffs in non breeding plumage, but would love to find a male during breeding season when they have bizarre, variable plumage.
A Virginia Rail posed briefly.
We had 2 Rails calling right in front of us and finally this one emerged from the reeds.
A view towards Vancouver Island from the viewing tower.
Viewing Tower.
Mostly Yellowlegs and Dowitchers in front of the tower.

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