The rain this morning likely a contributing factor to the smaller crowd at Reifel this afternoon. Fortunately the showers stopped just before I arrived. The target bird for today being a Black Phoebe that was reported the middle of last week.
My first pass along the east dyke trail where it has been seen the last few days met with negative results. While continuing to look for the Phoebe,
… there were some Solitary Sandpipers in the slough adjacent to the trail,
… and a Brown Creeper along the trail to keep me occupied and entertained.
After a little more walking and talking to a couple of other birders who had just seen it, I decided to stay put at that spot as it had also been seen frequenting this area in the morning.
It was not too long before the Black Phoebe returned and provided good viewing and photo opportunities.
I was soon joined by other birders and photographers looking for the bird. The Black Phoebe is a rare visitor here, with the BC Bird Alert site indicating that this bird is the 27th record for the province. It has been several years since I last saw and photographed one, so this was a good day.
While it was mostly sunny at Reifel this afternoon, that was not the case in other parts of the lower mainland according to some visitors. But seeing the clearing to the west, good numbers showed up at the sanctuary. I was not having much luck with anything on the photo front until checking out the inside grassy trail.
That is when this Brown Creeper showed up in front of me. Not having time to set up the tripod I had to shoot this hand held which can be challenging with the big lens.
From there I made my way to the inside ponds. There were several Bufflehead present and a few were being cooperative. These little diving ducks can be quite flighty at times, so it was a pleasant change having them stay put.
The light was cooperating as well, bringing out the iridescent colours in the head which at times just looks black.
Well we had quite the wind storm and accompanying power outages last night. While it had settled down somewhat by the time I headed out to Reifel this afternoon, there was still a cool breeze. With a smaller crowd than normal for a Sunday, it was fairly quiet as I headed out the east dyke.
This Brown Creeper was busy foraging moving from tree to another. There were also some Ruby-crowned Kinglets, but none that were going to cooperate for photos. On reaching the northeast corner,
… I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the Great Horned Owls roosting in a branch a little lower than it has been of late. I set the camera up here for visitors allowing them good close up views.
While showing and watching the owl I took time out to feed the eager Black-capped Chickadees that had gathered looking for handouts.
Then it was back to the Great Horned Owl as it cleaned its talons,
… and posed with its feathers all puffed up.
There were enough visitors coming by and enjoying the owl that I spent the afternoon there.