Saturday, 22 March 2014

Spring Birding

As spring rapidly approached, I was seeking any opportunities I could get to be out photographing birds as they ramp up their breeding activities.  Many of our local species are already paired up and starting to get all domestic.  I have noticed many of the woodpeckers seem to be travelling in pairs, Red-winged Blackbirds are vying for territory and harems of streaky females, Bewick's Wrens are tilting their heads way back to belt out loud songs, and male American Robins are absolutely radiant in their alternate plumage.  I will just provide a little collection of some of the shots I have taken in the week or so.  I hope you enjoy and now that our calendar's confirm spring is here, I hope everyone gets out to enjoy their local parks as we experience a fresh pulse of biodiversity.

A nice sun-soaked Northwestern Crow on Cattle Point

Song Sparrow picking through the high tide wrack at Cattle Point

American Robins are conspicuous in Garry Oak meadows where rain has saturated the thin layer of soil

Males in alternate plumage can be identified by their dark hood contrasting the greyish back and rich burnt sienna chest

Varied Thrushes have been more vocal, making an array of ringing and organ-like tones

Male Hairy Woodpecker on a Garry Oak in Gore Park

Northern Flicker striking a great pose on a dead Garry Oak branch

Female Bushtit - notice the pale eye - hanging from a hawthorn branch

Male Downy Woodpecker near the tip of a Garry Oak branch

This Chestnut-backed Chickadee knows that every rose has its thorn

Hutton's Vireos are starting to repetitively "zu-weep" after their lengthy winter of virtual silence

This male Spotted Towhee was scratch-hopping to dig through an ant mound, which you can see it perched atop here

Male Red-winged Blackbird singing from the top of a cattail: a classic wetland scene

Female Red-winged Blackbird with a bit of cattail fluff on her bill

As you can see, there is no shortage of interesting sightings out there right now.  Hopefully I'll have more photos after this weekend and if I get anything really good, it will be up sooner than later.  Now get out and enjoy the first weekend of the spring!

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