Black-headed Grosbeak

Having seen Black-headed Grosbeak at a couple of different locations recently, and wanting to try for better photos, I headed to Reifel as the odds would be better there. There has been a few of them around usually frequenting the east dyke trail.

Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

The adult males are quite distinct with their orange, black and white colouring.

Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

The females are not as flashy and both will share in nesting duties and feeding young.

Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

After getting them foraging on the ground, this male posed nicely for me in a tree.

While at the sanctuary this afternoon I also checked on the Sandhill Cranes. It is almost time to start a nest watch with the eggs due to hatch in the next few days.

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.

Pre Game Walk

Time permitted a Stanley Cup Final pre game walk this afternoon. Not wanting to stray too far from home, I headed out to Reifel.

Cooper's Hawk
Cooper's Hawk

Started off with this Cooper’s Hawk in the trees along the driveway.

Then some friends who were shooting this Grosbeak on the ground,

Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

… flushed it nicely into a tree for me to capture.

Still no shortage of new arrivals,

Wood Duck
Wood Duck

… with this Wood Duck family basking in the sun on this log.

Western Wood-Pewee
Western Wood-Pewee

There has also been a Western Wood-pewee around my last few visits.

The treat of the afternoon though was a couple of other new arrivals.

Rufous Hummingbird Fledgling
Rufous Hummingbird Fledgling

These Rufous Hummingbird fledglings were in the bushes along one of the trails.

Rufous Hummingbird Fledgling
Rufous Hummingbird Fledgling

I was hoping to capture one of them getting fed by the adult female. She would come in close above them, but then back off. My proximity to the fledglings may have been spooking her. Sometimes they don’t mind when you are around, other times it may interfere with their behaviour. You have to watch for this. In situations like this, the well being of the birds comes before the picture. So it was time for me to move on.

On checking the watch, it was time to head home for the game. Go Canucks Go!