Monday, March 28, 2011

First Migrants!

Savannah Sparrow
After a weekend off from birding it was out and about again with my BC birding buddy Rob Catchpole. Another look at Boundary Bay Regional Park and the surrounding area and at last a couple of migrants to report.

We arrived at around 9.45am and although the weather was pleasant enough a rather nippy southeasterly breeze kept the temperature down. The bay produced good numbers of Green-winged Teal, amongst them a lone Eurasian, and as the tide edged slowly in around a dozen Greater Yellowlegs were feeding along the edges, a single Killdeer was also seen.

As we continued along the sea front a small number of Brant were the best we could muster, the opportunity of spotting anything further out not helped by the choppy conditions. As we arrived at the southern end of the bay around 200 Sanderling came in to feed, and after sitting watching these amazing little birds scurrying around for a short while, we decided to move into the interior of the park.

Two female Northern Harrier and a stunning male were quickly followed by our first spring migrant of the day as a Western Meadowlark made off to the east, this quickly followed by Savannah Sparrow, which was seen singing within the birch. A reasonably quite morning, apart from our new migrants, with various numbers of Tree Swallow, Song Sparrow, Marsh Wren and Bald Eagle also recorded.

Great Horned Owl (Library Image)
After lunch we decided to head north through the residential area and back along the bay towards Beach Grove, and finally ended up venturing into Beach Grove Park. Here we picked up Pine Siskin feeding on the Alder seeds, Band-tailed Pigeon, Brown Creeper and we were a little surprised to come across 2 Eurasian Collared Dove, a species I believe which has been introduced to North America in recent years.

The best of the day was saved until last, when thanks to some local information, we were able to connect with  a superb Great Horned Owl, which we found roosting high up in a tall Fir tree. Not a prolific days birding by recent comparison, more quality than quantity, but four more additions to my current visit list is very welcome.