The wind and showers did let up a little at the end of the day allowing for a short walk. I headed out to the North 40 as I had seen a report of some Lazuli Bunting being sighted there along with some Western Tanager. The Buntings have been fairly consistent in this area the last few years. A quick check of the usual spots was not turning up anything. While checking some of the tree lines I got side tracked by another recent regular.
This Great Horned Owl was roosting in a stand of old Oak trees. This was the first time I had seen it out in the open. Usually it has been tucked away high up and behind branches. Now I will just have to keep checking for the Buntings over the long weekend.
On arriving to volunteer at Reifel this afternoon there was a Belted Kingfisher along Robertson Slough. It did not stick around when I got out to walk the driveway. This is the first one I have seen in a while. Carrying on I reached the the parking lot the same time as a couple of bus loads of people. Still, it was not overly busy on the people front. Birding wise it remains fairly quiet. There was an adult Great Horned Owl being harassed by Crows near the picnic area which did not stay long. While walking the outer dyke checking the handful of shorebirds in the ponds I noticed a Phalarope in with some Yellowlegs. It was all the way across the pond and to far off for me to properly identify. I decided to head to the blind off the centre dyke trail to see if I could get a closer look. By the time I reached the blind, the Phalarope was gone. As a consolation, there was a Barn Swallow family roosting on some branches just outside one of the blind openings.
This is one of the juvenile Barns Swallows. Only problem being the opening is too small for my lens to shoot through and resulted in a soft photo which I tried to correct. From here I headed back to the tower area.
The Lesser Yellowlegs I noted earlier was in a slightly better spot for a photo this time. Then came word of another Great Horned Owl along one of the inside trails.
This one being a juvenile with the lack of large broad ear tufts of an adult and still somewhat fuzzy head. This young bird also seemed to be favouring its right eye.
I look forward to seeing the young owls each year. The adults have been nesting in the area for many years now. To finish the afternoon off, one of the Swainson’s Thrush came in and scolded the young owl for a short time. Of course it did not want to pose nicely like the owl and remained tucked away in the branches. A quiet but not uneventful afternoon.