Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 2015 Green Heron, American Pipit, Whimbrel, Macgillivary's Warbler, etc.

May is always a great month because birds we haven't seen for a while are either migrating through or returning to nest here.  The highlight was White-faced Ibis's which I dedicated the previous blog to.  Birding starts to slow down in June but I am sure something will show up.  Until then, here is some of what May produced.
A local park had this Green Heron stalking the little fishes.
Green Heron  
Warbling Vireo
American Goldfinch has not quite reached full breeding plumage yet.   Great Blue Heron Reserve, Chilliwack.
We added a Barrows Goldeneye duck to our year list at Manning Park.
Barrows Goldeneye displaying with no female in sight.  Must be a nervous twitch.  I used to get them when I was younger.
Manning Park also had  a flock of American Pipits passing through.
Anyone seen a contact lens??
Female Brewers Blackbird in an interesting pose.
Whimbrels were congregating along 8th ave. in Surrey.
I watched some Whimbrels for about an hour and observed some interesting behaviour.  Here one picks up a piece of weed and then drops it with the tail and wings spread.  It must be a pre-breeding ritual.
Here 2 Whimbrels dance.  I wonder if some of them actually copulate  before they get to the breeding grounds up north.  It would certainly save a lot of time, when they get to their destination, if the egg were developing before they arrived.  This is only speculation on my part.
A Brown Creeper and a bug.
Elk Mountain Road in Chilliwack has a few Macgillivary's Warblers.
Greater Yellowlegs with 1 and 1/2 legs.  It seemed to get around quite well.
While watching some White-fronted Ibis's at Separation Lake (see previous blog) this Muskrat swam up to check us out.
Yellow-headed Blackbirds were abundant at Separation Lake.
Cliff Swallows at a local Quarry
Cliff Swallows have been known to lay eggs in another Swallow's nest and also lay their eggs in their own nest and carry it to another's nest.
While doing a bird survey in Abbotsford for the Fraser Valley Conservancy, a naturalist picked up this snail so no one would step on it.  It is an Oregon Forestsnail (spelling is right).  It is one of the most highly endangered snails in British Columbia.
Who needs a necklace when you got bling like this.  Rufous Hummingbird Iona.
Yellow Warbler female MacDonald Park Abbotsford
Douglas Lake Road, east of Nicola Lake, has plenty of Horned Larks.  This subspecies has a yellow throat indicative of a low elevation bird.  The white-throated subspecies is usually found up in the mountains and the Arctic.
I first thought this was a Bank Swallow because it was nesting in a bank by Nicola Lake.  I thought about how much it looked like a Northern Rough-winged so I looked it up and found Rough-wings also nest in banks.  So it is a N. Rough-winged and I learned something new.

End of this months blog.  Scroll down for previous blog.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

White-faced Ibis May 16 2015 Separation Lake, BC

Got a call from friend Carlo G. this morning who wanted to know if I would join him on a twitch to find some White-faced Ibis's at Separation Lake, close to Kamloops British Columbia.  This is a very rare bird for British Columbia, and one which I have never seen in the province. So I jumped at the chance.  We arrived at the site around 2 PM to find some young birders already there.  It was good to finally meet many of the excellent up and coming next generation.  They had 12 Ibis staked out.  To see one Ibis here is great but to see twelve is extraordinary.  More birders came and went and all the time the birds foraged peacefully along the shoreline.  At one point a few of them strolled to within 20 meters of us and then strolled back to join the main group.  Following is a pictorial record.

End of this blog.  Scroll down for previous blog.