This afternoons walk was to Boundary Bay. The photo opportunities started before I even parked at the foot of 72 St.
A Rough-legged Hawk was in a tree next to the road. This shot was taken out of the car window. After parking I noted it was still there and started walking back that way, but it moved off before I got there.
There were lots of sparrows around at the foot of 72 St. when I started my walk, but nothing out of the ordinary.
There were even a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets among them.
As I continued east along the dyke I came across a large group of White-crowned Sparrows.
While several of them provided great photo opportunities,
… I did not locate any American Tree Sparrows which I was hoping to see.
As one would expect at this time of the year in the bay area, there was no shortage of Bald Eagles.
There were also a few Short-eared Owls active over the marsh.
The owls seemed to be the only thing any of the other photographers out there were interested in. Makes me wonder at times if they aware of the variety of birds that can be seen in this area.
It was a nice sunny afternoon when I started my walk at Boundary Bay. As with my last visit here, I was going to look for wintering sparrows. Not long after starting,
… this male Northern Harrier did a close fly by. On the sparrow front as I progressed east along the dyke I was only finding the usual suspects.
Like this White-crowned Sparrow,
… and Song Sparrow. With clouds moving in and the sun starting to set, it was time to start heading back. While adjacent to the golf course,
… I came across this Short-eared Owl that had stopped to rest on a fence post. As it continued getting darker,
… I was pleasantly surprised to see this Snowy Owl roosting out in the marsh. One has been seen here off and on for a couple of weeks now. The first one I saw this winter was also about two weeks ago at Reifel way out in the west marsh.
This afternoon I made my way out to Brunswick Point with the hope of getting the American Tree Sparrows that had been reported recently. While not seeing much in the first portion of the walk,
… there were a few Northern Flicker flying around the marsh. Then several sparrows started heading for cover in the trees trail side.
They were being chased by a very active Northern Shrike. While I did get a glimpse of some White-crowned Sparrows, no American Tree Sparrow (they were seen this afternoon). After watching the Shrike and sparrows a little longer I made my way further along the trail to an approaching group of birders and the surprise of the day. They had found a juvenile Gyrfalcon. It was sitting in some cottonwoods being harassed by Northern Harriers. It was too far away for a decent photo, but I set up to get a record shot anyways.
While doing so it took to the air briefly and I managed this flight shot. A healthy crop as it was still some distance away, but better than the ones of it roosting in the trees. The Gyrfalcon was definitely the highlight of today’s walk.
Still checking the sparrows on the way back I did get this of a White-crowned Sparrow.