On arriving at Reifel this afternoon to help out on the trails I learned one of the Great Horned Owls was present in the sanctuary again. Knowing this to be a favourite of visitors I headed in that general direction. There was just one short detour along the way to the Ewen Slough blind in the northeast corner.
A Spotted Sandpiper had been seen earlier and was still present. Here it is intently watching a fly buzzing around in front of it. After a few minutes enjoying the sandpiper I made my way to the north dyke trail and located the Great Horned Owl roosting in the deciduous trees between there and the inside grassy trail.
I set up the camera for the visitors allowing them a close up view. Needless to say it was quite the hit.
After a while I did take a break for a walk. The only things cooperating,
… were some Dowitchers by the tower. I eventually made my way back to the Great Horned Owl,
… finishing the afternoon there. Even had a little time for this video.
While the afternoon at Reifel started off overcast with the odd light shower, the weather did improve slightly. While fairly quiet on the visitor front, there were a couple of interesting birds around. There is still a pair of Eastern Kingbird frequenting the trees along the island as you head out towards the west dyke.
No confirmation if they are actually nesting in the area yet though.
Meanwhile in the outside ponds on the high tide were some Dowitchers, Yellowlegs …
… and mixed in with them was this female Wilson’s Phalarope.
I managed to get it with both a Dowitcher and Greater Yellowlegs for comparison.
Then this solo shot to finish my time with it.
On my way back and while watching the Kingbirds for a little longer,
… this Dragonfly alighted on the tall grass and posed nicely for me.
To finish the day off,
… was this Spotted Sandpiper in the slough adjacent to the parking lot.
Went to check on the Osprey nest again today, but still no sign of chicks. It should not be long now though. The male was making the usual fish deliveries for the female and she returned with another stick for the nest. At one point she started calling,
… and he returned to the nest.
Then he started preening or moving her feathers around. A behaviour I have not observed previously while watching them.
Bonus bird of the day,
… was this Spotted Sandpiper that showed up along the river bank. Made me wonder if it might be nesting somewhere nearby.