Posts Tagged ‘Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary’

How to see a Sora and a Virginia Rail

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
  1. Go to the North-West corner of Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
  2. Stand on the platform overlooking the pond and peer at the reeds.
  3. Wait.

I didn’t need to wait long. A couple of Soras showed up first, followed by an elegant Rail.

Virginia Rail
Virginia Rail

Glaucous-winged Gull @ Reifel

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The highlight of today’s visit to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary was a first year Glaucous-winged Gull. The young Gull was begging for food of an adult Gull; The latter yielded and regurgitated a large amorphous ball.
Unfortunately, I was eating a sandwich at that time, but oh well.

Now, this Gull is not a spring chick anymore, I assume?
Time to get independent?

The Northern Hawk Owl was still at his usual place (coupled with another rare sighting of Birder Marc, who was keeping to more northern latitudes throughout the last winter month), and at Boundary Bay a Short-eared Owl was flying around.

Reifel short report

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk on the road to Reifel (Photographer: Mike Bailey)

Well hidden in the conifers on the eastern trail were four Northern Saw-whet Owls and a pair of Great Horned Owls. Other birds Jonathan and I met: a Northern Shrike, a Merlin, ten Sandhill Cranes… at least four thousand Mallards… and more!!!! wow!

Sunday Reifel

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

If you want to see rare birds, you must learn to recognize the subtle clues in your environment:

A Northern Hawk Owl was perch on a tree on Westham Island Road, bathing in the attention of a flock of photographers:
Northern Hawk Owl

According to the Vancouver region checklist of rare birds, the Northern Hawk Owl has been recorded here only 5 times within the last century!

From there I proceeded to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, where I was stalked by Mallards and attacked by a Sandhill Crane.

Sandhill Crane

I was trying to proceed on a road where 3 Sandhill Cranes were pecking the grass (one of them was a chick only a few months ago), and got jabbed by one! I backed up slowly, and got jabbed twice more! There were no rules posted anywhere on how to behave when attacked by a bird. Maintaining eye contact and talking to the Crane in a low voice, I managed to pass by him – slowly.

Sandhill Crane

Four Black-crowned Night Herons were at their usual perch at the entrance of the sanctuary, a Great-horned Owl was sleeping high on a tree, Bald Eagles were disturbing the thousands of Snow Geese on the far west, Trumpeter Swans were blowing their trumpets, Northern Harriers were flying over the fields, and more. Below are a few song birds who agreed to be photographed.

Golden-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Who’s afraid of Virginia Rail

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Well, I was afraid of getting up at 5:30am, but that’s what getting to Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary by bicycle + public transit entails (giving myself some extra time).

This sanctuary is a duck’s Mecca and a birder’s Jerusalem. A hundred thousand birds were keeping me entertained.
About 2000 Snow Geese were flying in formation in the morning and rested on the field alongside the sanctuary at the end of the day.

11 Sandhill Cranes letting people feed them on the trail? ridiculous.
Not at all like the four Cranes who stood a field away from me, making me work hard and challenging the power of my binoculars at Grant Narrows a month and a half ago.

The multitude of birders out there (they were all looking for a lost Wood Sandpiper who didn’t show up) provided help: I got a look at the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (a rare visitor from Asia!) through someone’s scope.

The Marsh Wrens, who evaded me yesterday at Boundary Bay, did not evade me today. They were better looking than I expected.
I also got notified of Virginia Rails, and some patience paid off!
Day Summary: 40 species, 3 lifers. Not bad at all.