Bittern, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Golden-crowned Sparrow

Between work and the rain I managed a few brief walks over the last week. The American Bittern continues to show well along the south dyke at Reifel.

American Bittern
American Bittern
American Bittern
American Bittern

One of the wintering Northern Saw-whet Owls was a little more visible one afternoon.

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

Figured I would take this shot while it was snoozing away the afternoon because it won’t be long before they migrate to their nesting areas.

Golden-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow

While I could locate no unusual sparrows, this Golden-crowned struck a half decent pose.

American Bittern & Long-eared Owl

I started off in the morning at Reifel, the plan being to help out on the trails with the usually busy Sunday visitors. I made a quick pass down the east dyke trail and counted five Northern Saw-whet Owls. None of which were in good locations for photos. I then headed to the outer trails and the southwest marsh area. Target birds were a Northern Goshawk and American Bittern. While there was no sign of the Goshawk, but the Bittern did not disappoint.

American Bittern
American Bittern

It was busy meandering through the tall grass and fishing in the slough.

American Bittern
American Bittern

I spent a few hours along the south dyke pointing out this accommodating bird to visitors.

American Bittern
American Bittern

Needless to say everyone, including myself, was treated to great views of a bird that usually does not like crowds.

When taking a break from the trails I was informed that a Long-eared Owl had apparently been sighted out in Boundary Bay. Having missed it a few days ago I decided to head out there. On arriving it was not hard to locate, just look for the paparazzi!

Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl

Word had gotten out and it definitely had drawn a crowd. Unfortunately there some who just had to get closer and subsequently flushed the bird from the tree.

Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl

The owl moved a few times settling low in the grass and bushes. Something seemed to have its attention when it flew a short distance and down into another grassy area. I thought maybe it had caught a vole.

Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl

No such luck, but it was sitting nicely out in the open. It then moved off east along the dyke. I had hoped it might start hunting, but did not stay airborne long before alighting in the grass again.

Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl

All in all, a productive day with shots of what are usually a couple of elusive birds.