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Summer Tanager

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.

Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager

While it was initially challenging getting a clear shot,

Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager

… the opportunities improved with time and as it moved among the trees hawking for insects. It was also visiting suet feeders.

Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager

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.

Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager

A productive outing and a new addition to my life photo list.

 

Short-eared + Snowy Owl

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,

Northern Harrier
Northern Harrier

… 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.

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

Like this White-crowned Sparrow,

Song Sparrow
Song 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,

Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl

… I came across this Short-eared Owl that had stopped to rest on a fence post. As it continued  getting darker,

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

… 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.

Eurasian Wigeon

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,

Eurasian Wigeon
Eurasian Wigeon

… 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,

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

… it was a favourite roosting spot for birds of prey and for visitors to see and photograph them.