Monday, May 29, 2017

Wandering Tattler

with hardly any waders on the local shoreline I glanced up and saw this bird on a rock well offshore and assumed it was going to be a Surfbird as there were a few last September but it quickly materialised into a superb summer plumage Wandering tattler; the only previous one I had seen was a winter bird on the 17 mile drive at Monterey in December 1997 just 20 years back! it was never close staying on the rocks offshore even when they were getting swamped by the waves and of course I had left the 2x converter in the cottage -- all hand held and well cropped -- again I was amazed by the 5D4 AF ability given the breaking waves and the rock surface and white waves

Vaux Swifts

I could not work out why I had not seen Vaux Swift so typed best place to see Vaux Swift on Vancouver Island into google -- it came up with a link to a local newspaper article describing birders and local people gathering in a parking lot in Courtney to watch the spectacle of 1000's of roosting Vaux Swifts in the museum chimney -- as it happened Courtney was just 30 minutes drive away so we joined the assembled gang of locals with dogs, aged bins and a few nutters to await the arrival of the switfs -- they appeared about 30 minutes before dark but I started off at 3200 ISo and was only getting 1000th second on birds that I could hardly keep up with and then went to 10,000 ISO before the flock formed -- they were then scattered by a hunting Merlin but a smaller flock persisted and at 25,600 ISO I got a few flock shots at 1600th second - there is some noise not surprisingly! another birding spectacle and the second of my 3 new birds -- click on the bottom image to see what 25,600 ISO Looks like on the 5D4 after some Neat Image treatment

Steller's Jays

Violet Green Swallow

just never had the light to do these properly

Western Sandpipers plus the odd Dunlin and sanderling

somewhat disappointed that we only saw Western Sands on one day of the trip presumably they had already gone through

crossbills -- Red and White-winged

on our first trip up Mount Washington saw a flock of crossbills and Pine Siskins on the road and realised one was a fine male White-winged but they flew off at a distance -the male White-winged was seen singing at the top of a tall pine but then flew off -- that was it for White-winged but a presumed family of Red Crossbills were seen on the second visit and landed right next to me on the road with the food begging juvs accompanied by a few different adults -- these Red Crossbills appear to be particularly fine billed and so maybe larch feeders?

Hermit Thrush

on the 18th there were two Hermit Thrushes foraging in the edge of the melting snow by the car park at Strathcona Paradise meadows -- I just love the Catharus thrushes