… others are starting to moult. Bird feathers get damaged and the process of shedding the old to make way for the new is called moulting. Not all feathers are replaced at once and this can occur more than once during the year.
In the case of this Mallard you can see the new primary and secondary flight feathers growing in. This adds some literal meaning to the idiom “sitting duck” when you cannot fly. For this reason some water birds will stay in large groups for safety while moulting.
I started off this morning at Reifel. Right off the bat I came across this interesting mix of birds in the pond behind the gift shop.
A Canada Goose, Mallard and some Dowitchers.
New arrivals are popping up all over the place now.
And it will be about another week before we see any action around the Sandhill Crane nest.
While Wilson’s Warblers were few and far between on my last visit,
… they were all over the place today.
This female was staying put foraging in one area,
… providing a better opportunity for some closer shots.
Of course there are still plenty of Yellow-rumped Warblers around as well.
While not a great photo op,
… I did see my first Black-headed Grosbeak of the year. So, not a bad morning at Reifel.
A Bar-tailed Godwit had been seen the last couple of days out in Boundary Bay. A fairly rare visitor for this area, particularly in the spring. Having to work I was unable to get out when it was first sighted and decided to give it a try this afternoon. However, there was no sign of it or any Plovers that it had been seen with.
With a title of “Friday the 13th” the day obviously did not bode well for someone.
This afternoon in the bay it was this Dowitcher falling prey to a Peregrine Falcon.
With the cooler weather I spent a little time this afternoon watching and photographing some of the waterfowl on the frozen ponds. Not too many birds around on the ice, but a few opportunities did present themselves. I started off with some Mallards,
…followed by American Coot,
… and finishing off with a couple of Northern Pintails.