Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Birding @ the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary (Part 1)

Today, my friend Robbie and I spent the day at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The skies were heavily overcast and the scent of rain was in the air but, once we crossed the Westham Island Bridge over the Fraser River Estuary, the clouds broke apart exposing the sun.

We were the first birdwatchers to arrive and we weren't exactly upset about it.

On this day, rather than take the usual route to the South West Marsh, we headed towards the East Dyke. We saw the usual suspects along the way: Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, House Sparrows, Goldfinches, Chickadees, and heard the calls of many others that we could not see. Robbie managed to spot a young Cedar Waxwing while I was busy trying to lure the chickadees down from the treetops with my rather impressive call. I achieved moderate success, as you can see.

We continued on through the winding trails, past the Display Ponds, where hungry geese were awaiting our arrival.

It wasn't until we reached the South West Marsh that we started to see the birds we came for - the Sandhill Cranes (7 of them in all) and plenty of Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs.

I will blog about the Sandhill Cranes in my next post, since I have a rather impressive series of photographs to share.

While we walked along the perimeter of the marsh, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful vegitation that grew there, adding color and character to the landscape.

With the beginning of the Fall migration looming, we know we will have to say farewall to many of the birds we saw today. Soon, the display ponds will be brimming with Snow Geese and other wintering birds and water fowl. Until then, I will savor every moment I spent with the birds of Summer.

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