The weather was borderline when I headed out this afternoon, still overcast with the occasional shower. Not bad enough to keep me indoors though and I made my way to the North 40 to check on a couple of things. I had only just started my walk,
… when this adult male Northern Harrier made an appearance hunting over the fields.
One of things I wanted to check on was a pair of Cooper’s Hawks I have been following here for years. They nest in this area each year, but wherever the nest is, it has always been tucked away well inside the tree. On checking this years nest,
… I was happy to see three fairly large juveniles inside. Once again there was no way to get a clear shot, but still fun to observe. Probably will not be long before they fledge.
Next while watching some sparrows,
… this Downy Woodpecker showed up briefly on the bramble looking for bugs.
The other thing I was wanting to check for was the Lazuli Bunting. They have showed up here in previous years, but I have yet to see one or hear any reports of them this year.
On my way back to the car,
… this juvenile American Robin stopped and posed briefly providing a nice end to the walk.
Well today was one of the rare occasions we actually got some snow down here at sea level. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity I headed out to Reifel this afternoon. When I arrived there was only one other family group out in the sanctuary. Not often you practically have the place to yourself.
A shot from the warming hut overlooking the gift shop ponds. On the opposite side at Fuller’s Slough,
… a Black-crowned Night-Heron was roosting nicely on snow covered branches. Then it was down the east dyke trail. It was not long before I could hear the drumming sound of woodpecker. As I slowly made my way to the other side of the tree,
… a Pileated Woodpecker was busy looking for food. While this is usually a good area for them, there were no owls along here today. Next up was the centre dyke trail,
… where I found this American Robin foraging for the few remaining berries. While approaching the main covered viewing platform,
… this Great Blue Heron was moving slowly on a snow covered log in the slough.
Then one last shot of one of the inner display ponds. All in all, a fun day in the snow.