After weeks of non-stop rain and the first month of 2010 quickly coming to an end, Kim and I finally got a chance to get out and bird! It was a beautiful bright crisp morning as I began my drive out to Kim's so we could join up and head off to the Reifel bird sanctuary.
Once we got through the gates, we notice the lack of ducks waiting to greet us as they normally do, but once we threw a handful of seed into the water, the 'mallard mayhem' began.
After saying our hellos to the ducks, we set off down the path with a handful of seed anxious to do what we love best........hand feed the chickadees and feed them we did!!
Black-capped Chickadees are the most adorable little fellas and are the only ones who will let us admire them on our hands. Many other birds watch but none have yet come to say hello.
We also noticed that it was a whole lot quieter then usual as we made our way down the path. It did not take long for us to discover the reason. Hawks!! Big and small birds of prey were out in full force. I was able to catch a few shots of them in flight as well as one Cooper's Hawk that took a moment to rest in a treeptop.
There were many others that did not seemed phased at all by the enemy. The American Wigeons, Lesser Scaups, Pintails, and a couple of Buffleheads, carried on business as usual in one of the many display ponds.
Lesser Scaup (male)
Pintail (female & male)
Bufflehead (female & male)
Stopping in one of the many blinds throughout the sanctuary, I was able to observe a lone female Hooded Merganser, shake off the excess water from her fearthers then pose for me as I snapped away.
I could see off in the distance a couple more females along with one lone male.
Hooded Merganser (male)
As our visit for the day was winding down, we stopped to admire the vivid colours of the Red-winged Blackbirds as they dined on a feeder full of seed....
...some finches awaiting their turn at the feeder......
....and this lovely rhododendron that has started to bloom giving us hope that spring is just around the corner!!