Northern Saw-whet Owl

I knew it was going to be a long afternoon when I got the heads up that there were three Northern Saw-whet Owls in addition to the Great Horned Owl pair along the east dyke trail at Reifel today. On arriving to help out on the trails, the parking lot was full and visitors were being held at the gate until spots opened up.

Only one of the Northern Saw-whet Owls was in a vulnerable spot that needed watching over. For the most part the photographers were well behaved today, other than a couple who figured they could park their tripods and cameras right in front of the bird without moving all day.

For all the visitors that passed by this spot,

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

… they were treated to an unobstructed view of a Northern Saw-whet Owl. Something that you do not encounter here all that often. This definitely made the day for most of them.

Boundary Bay Variety

This afternoons walk was to Boundary Bay. The photo opportunities started before I even parked at the foot of 72 St.

Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk

A Rough-legged Hawk was in a tree next to the road. This shot was taken out of the car window. After parking I noted it was still there and started walking back that way, but it moved off before I got there.

There were lots of sparrows around at the foot of 72 St. when I started my walk, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

There were even a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets among them.

As I continued east along the dyke I came across a large group of White-crowned Sparrows.

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

While several of them provided great photo opportunities,

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

… I did not locate any American Tree Sparrows which I was hoping to see.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

As one would expect at this time of the year in the bay area, there was no shortage of Bald Eagles.

Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl

There were also a few Short-eared Owls active over the marsh.

Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl

The owls seemed to be the only thing any of the other photographers out there were interested in. Makes me wonder at times if they aware of the variety of birds that can be seen in this area.

Northern Goashawk

It had been a fairly uneventful day on the photo front at Reifel. Toward the end of the day while walking along the inside grassy trail the numerous Robins and some Flickers suddenly scattered. The reason became clear as I then saw the Northern Goshawk streaking through the trees. This carried on for a few minutes without the Goshawk catching anything.

Northern Goshawk
Northern Goshawk

The Goshawk then alighted briefly on a branch over the trail providing this photo opportunity. While not ideal, it is the clearest photo I have managed so far of this winter visitor at the sanctuary.