This afternoon I decided to head in to Vancouver for the Summer Tanager first reported on the British Columbia Rare Bird Alert blog on December 09. It did not take long to locate the bird along the Arbutus Greenway.
While it was initially challenging getting a clear shot,
… the opportunities improved with time and as it moved among the trees hawking for insects. It was also visiting suet feeders.
This immature male Summer Tanager is the sixth record for British Columbia and the first for the Vancouver area. Given the time of year this bird should be in Mexico, Central or South America.
A productive outing and a new addition to my life photo list.
It was a nice sunny afternoon when I started my walk at Boundary Bay. As with my last visit here, I was going to look for wintering sparrows. Not long after starting,
… this male Northern Harrier did a close fly by. On the sparrow front as I progressed east along the dyke I was only finding the usual suspects.
Like this White-crowned Sparrow,
… and Song Sparrow. With clouds moving in and the sun starting to set, it was time to start heading back. While adjacent to the golf course,
… I came across this Short-eared Owl that had stopped to rest on a fence post. As it continued getting darker,
… I was pleasantly surprised to see this Snowy Owl roosting out in the marsh. One has been seen here off and on for a couple of weeks now. The first one I saw this winter was also about two weeks ago at Reifel way out in the west marsh.
It was cool, windy and wet when I made my way to Reifel to help out on the trails this afternoon. Understandably there were not many visitors, but there was a Great Horned Owl to show the hardy few I met along the east dyke trail. The birding highlight of the day,
… was a Eurasian Wigeon in the house pond at the back of the gift shop. While neither my shooting position or weather were ideal, it was still good to see this winter visitor.
In other sanctuary news, the well known raptor snag got blown down this past week. Along the main path to the large covered viewing platform,
… it was a favourite roosting spot for birds of prey and for visitors to see and photograph them.