Wood Duck + Cackling Goose

This afternoon at Reifel the Wood Ducks seemed particularly busy. While you would think it would be getting close to the time to see some ducklings,

Wood Duck
Wood Duck

… they were active in the branches. This pair was in close proximity to a nesting box while providing this nice interaction.

Wood Duck
Wood Duck

Then this male Wood Duck also struck a nice pose while in the trees.

Odd man out today,

Cackling Goose
Cackling Goose

… was this lone Cackling Goose on the trail by the centre display ponds.

On the way home along Westham Island Road,

Brewer's Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird

… I stopped briefly for this Brewer’s Blackbird. This is a fairly reliable location to see them.

Song Birds & Blue Goose

At Reifel today, on this Thanksgiving long weekend, there was a half decent crowd. It was overcast with light showers persisting most of the afternoon. It was fairly quiet on the birding front,

Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco

… so I was starting to watch some of the fall regulars such as this Dark-eyed Junco. Then to make things a little more interesting,

White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow

… I spotted this White-throated Sparrow. That was the excitement for the sanctuary, but things picked up again on the way home. I got flagged over on Westham Island by Brian, a fellow volunteer. In with the Snow Goose flock were some dark morph birds.

Snow Goose
Snow Goose

One that stood out was this Snow Goose with some of the marking of a dark morph.

Snow Goose
Snow Goose

There were a couple of juveniles,

Snow Goose
Snow Goose

… along with this adult dark morph Snow Goose. It was an interesting variety of Blue Goose to end the day with.

Swallow, Blackbird, Grosbeak & Eagle

First stop this afternoon was at Reifel. While there were some Cinnamon and Blue-winged Teal around, neither were in decent spots for photos when I saw them. While watching the swallows at the northwest corner I noticed a lone Cliff Swallow, but it was too far off for a photo. They are not one of the regulars here,

Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow

… unlike the Tree Swallows which are everywhere. Also present in the outer ponds today were over 100 Dowitchers.

With the longer days now it was too early to head home after leaving Reifel, so I decided to check the North 40 again. While driving along Westham Island Road I noticed a blackbird I had not photographed in some time.

Brewer's Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird

The Brewer’s Blackbird is regularly seen around the farm fields in this area.

It was quieter on the warbler front than on my past visits at the North 40 today. While scanning the trees a flash of colour did get my attention,

Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

… a Black-headed Grosbeak. The first I have seen this year, unfortunately it was not going to cooperate by coming down lower or any closer.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

And because they are usually around and will sit nice for you once in a while.