Sunday, September 20, 2009

Great day for birds!!!!!

Up and at 'em early again for this old retired chick.....the sun was shinning brightly and the birds were singing their usual morning tunes as I headed back to Kim's so we could get an early start out at the George Reifel Bird Sanctuary. I had a real good feeling about the bird trip and I have to say, I was not to be disappointed!!

Kim was awaiting my arrival so in her car we buckle up and off we go. Conversation, of course, focuses on the birds at our own feeders and the ones we hope to see this day, it's a fair little drive so we cover lots. As we turn the corner to head towards the entrance, I am on the look out for anything of interest as this was where Kim had spotted the Mute Swan. The swing bridge that we must cross is opened and so we stop to wait with my eyes still peeled on the water...........whoa...what's that I shout grabbing for my binoculars.....I look, and not quite sure what this bird was, I handed my binoculars to Kim for her to have a look as I was getting out to snap a few shots...but poor Kim was blinded by the bright green railing of the bridge.

Certain I had just seen some sort of strange woodpecker, Kim grabbed her bird book she had brought along once we had parked and gotten out of the car. Ok, so it wasn't a woodpecker, it was a Belted Kingfisher....very, very cool, a first for me! Yep, today was going to good!!

Very excited with my first sighting of the day, we head off to see what else lies ahead and right on cue, we are greeted with the regulars.......ducks, ducks and more ducks!!

Along with the scads of ducks, came my introduction to my first American Coot. Not seeing the coot to be the most attractive bird I had ever seen, I found myself watching him fascinated by the fact that he swam and dove so well dispite the fact he has no webbing in his feet. He also had an interesting "beep" sound much like the horn you would find on a child's bike.

Wow, I'm feeling great, we haven't even been there twenty minutes and already I had had two firsts. Yep, awesome day so far.

So on we travel down the trail and wander off just slightly down towards the first of many blinds. Ah ha....what's that I spot on the log out there yonder in the pond...a very colourful duck...grab the binoculars...mmhmm...a Wood Duck, yet another first for this little country bumpkin. Now  less then thirty minutes in and I feel set for the day!

This day had totally gone beyond my expectations and I was thrilled, if I saw nothing more then ducks and geese from there on in, I would be been happy.

Once again both Kim and I had the chickadees eating the seed  out of our hands, so cool .We were entertained by the oodles of Red Breasted Nuthatches feasting on the pine cones hanging from the branches of pine trees like Christmas ornaments. The cheeky starlings had us stopped in our tracks trying to figure out what they were as they hustled about in the tops of the fir trees. We also watched as the unidentifiable (they were too far off )  birds of prey scanned the farmers fields that surround the sanctuary.

We continued down to one of the many ponds and low and behold there waitng for us was one veryl large group of dowitchers. Kim thinks they look like they have swallowed grapefruits and I think they look like they are drinking out of thick black straws. Either way, they are fun to watch and watch we did. Thrown into the mix was a few greater and lesser yellow legs. Awesome!

Mean while behind us, there was quite a rukus going on at the bird feeder hung form the branch of a tree so I had to investigate. Three red-winged blackbirds, a purple finch, a couple of sparrows and a handful of chickadees made up the orchestra.

Then this fella came along and was wanting to hog the attention.....

...then this pretty little blue-winged teal started to pose looking very proud of the fact that she had a feather stuck on the end of her beak!

As our visit wound down, we stopped to watch the American Coots and Mallards and feed them the remaining seed we had left. It was one of my best days birding yet and I know there are going to be plenty more. Even though many of many phots did not turn out so well, I have enough to share and to go back and enjoy.

Kim and I ended our day with a very yummy lunch of curried chicken on rice at Kim's favorite little spot and a recap of the days adventure. I can hardly wait for the next one!!



  1. Wow..what a day you both had...I want to come along next time..well I kinda did...virtual cyber birding..thanks!

  2. Awesome post, Robbie. Love that you got a shot of that Wood Duck in the water :)

  3. Wonderful post and wonderful shots!! What a GREAT day!