The Moult

New arrivals still continue to show up.

Mallard
Mallard

While some adult birds are still tending young,

Mallard
Mallard

… 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.

Mallard
Mallard

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.

Friday the 13th

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.

Canada Goose, Mallard, Dowitchers
Canada Goose, Mallard, Dowitchers

A Canada Goose, Mallard and some Dowitchers.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose

New arrivals are popping up all over the place now.

Sandhill Crane Nest
Sandhill Crane Nest

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,

Wilson's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler

… they were all over the place today.

Wilson's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler

This female was staying put foraging in one area,

Wilson's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler

… providing a better opportunity for some closer shots.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Of course there are still plenty of Yellow-rumped Warblers around as well.

While not a great photo op,

Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

… 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.

Peregrine Falcon with Dowitcher
Peregrine Falcon with Dowitcher

This afternoon in the bay it was this Dowitcher falling prey to a Peregrine Falcon.

Mallards, Coots & Northern Pintail

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,

Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard

…followed by American Coot,

American Coot
American Coot
American Coot
American Coot

… and finishing off with a couple of Northern Pintails.

Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail