Night-Heron, Finch & Falcon

It was sunny and cold when I made my way to help out at Reifel this afternoon. On arriving the parking lot was not anywhere near close to being full. Perhaps the Canucks  and Grey Cup games had something to do with it. Highlight from the morning walk was a Golden Eagle. On starting out my attention was immediately drawn to one of the regular Night-Heron trees.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron

One of the juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron present this fall/winter was sitting relatively in the open. Next stop was the platform over looking Fullers Slough. Apparently the Harris’s Sparrow was seen there in the morning, but I could not locate it. From there I made my out to the tower. From the high ground I scanned the skies, but no sign of the Golden Eagle. One of the regular Great Horned Owls was along the east dyke trail, but still not in a good spot for photos. Later in the afternoon,

Purple Finch
Purple Finch

… along the centre dyke trail I manage this shot of a Purple Finch feeding on the berries. And as the sun was starting to set on my way back,

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

… this Peregrine Falcon in the usual raptor snag.

Harris’s Sparrow

It was another beautiful sunny and cool day when I made my way out to Reifel to help out on the trails this afternoon. Lots of other people were out enjoying it as well, as the parking lot was packed when I arrived. Highlights from the last couple of days were Bohemian Waxwing and a Harris’s Sparrow. On starting out I made a brief stop at Fuller’s Slough to look a the Black-crowned Night-Heron. There are two juvenile birds along with the adults this winter.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron

The first juveniles here in a few years and one of the adults did provide a good look and fairly unobstructed photo. From here I made my out along the east dyke trail. The Great Horned Owl pair were roosting together high in a tree, but not in a good spot for photos. This did not stop many from trying while most just enjoyed seeing them. I was not going to attempt looking for the Harris’s Sparrow at this time as there were just too many people along the trail keeping the sparrows in the bushes. While strolling around the other trails I could not turn up any waxwings. Later in the afternoon I made my way back to the east dyke trail. As the number of people had diminished somewhat, the sparrows were making there way back out on to the trails in between groups.

Harris's Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow

It did not take too long before I spotted the Harris’s Sparrow. This is a bird that would normally migrate from the arctic through the middle of Canada and is a rare visitor for this area. While still being flushed back into the bushes occasionally by small groups,

Harris's Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow

… the Harris’s Sparrow would pop back out not long after they passed by. It provided great looks for myself and others.

Harris's Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow

At one point it was quite content feeding on seeds left by visitors on this tree stump. It has been about six years since I last saw and photographed a Harris’s Sparrow, so this was definitely the highlight of my day.

Night-Heron & Eagle

Managed a quick walk in the sun this afternoon. There were more people than I expected there would be for a Friday at Reifel. Birding wise it was fairly quiet, but there was one pleasant surprise.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron

On starting out for my walk one of the Black-crowned Night-Heron was on the move and in the open in an evergreen tree across from the gift shop. The only other action I managed was at the tower.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagles are still frequenting the tree tops here providing some good photo opportunities.