Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 4 and 5 - Birding Close to Home

Another significant snowfall hit the lower Mainland on this weekend, so I decided to stay close to home. On the Saturday I concentrated on the backyard. During the snow and cold we've kept the suet and seed feeders filled and ensured the hummingbird nectar was not frozen.

Saturday, February 4

A very regular visitor to our yard is the Bewick's Wren. It has a loud and distinctive call and is often heard but seldom seen. In 2016 I heard it many times, but rarely saw it and never got a photo.

On this day and the following, I got some opportunities. I first saw it in the suet feeder, which surprised me as I'd never seen one in there before. Perhaps it was a cold-weather last resort. I got this photo a bit later.

Bewick's Wren - Backyard, North Delta BC - 2017 Bird #55

The resident male Anna's Hummingbird was quite active and visible on the weekend. Here's a case of Now You See It:

Anna's Hummingbird - Backyard, North Delta BC

And now you don't (about 1/5 second later).

Here's one more shot using the Nikon Coolpix, resulting in a different colour tone.

Anna's Hummingbird - Backyard, North Delta BC

Our constant backyard residents in the winter are the Dark-eyed Junco and the Black-capped Chickadee. The Junco we see on the west coast is of the Oregon Race, which was considered to be a separate species until the 1980's when most Junco races were lumped into one species. The Juncos in the East are uniformly dark.

Dark-eyed Junco- Backyard, North Delta BC

And here's a Chickadee showing that the snow doesn't bother it at all.

Black-capped Chickadee - Backyard, North Delta BC

Sunday, February 5

This day was Superbowl Sunday, so I planned to be home for the game. I decided the closest place I could go birding was Burns Bog. It was another snowy day on the Nature Trail in the bog.

Almost immediately a bird caught my eye, possible a Robin. I zoomed the Nikon in and discovered it was a Varied Thrush. I only had a second or two and did not get a perfectly focused shot.

Varied Thrush - Burns Bog Nature Trail, North Delta BC - 2017 Species #58

The species numbers here are out of order, I saw two others earlier but they appear later in this post.  

I heard and saw another bird that I figured must be a Pileated Woodpecker, but only managed this very poor shot. I did not relocate it even though it was probably still on the same tree.

Pileated Woodpecker - Burns Bog Nature Trail, North Delta BC - 2017 Species #59

The last bird from the bog was this Song Sparrow, trying to keep as warm as possible.

Song Sparrow - Burns Bog Nature Trail, North Delta BC

Back at home, I decided to set the Nikon up on my tripod and focus it on the suet feeder, which also had a seed feeder on top. I cleaned the window so I could get some clear shots and then used a Nikon IPhone App to view what the camera was seeing and take photos remotely. 

The first shot was a Northern Flicker attempting to get at whatever it could.

Northern Flicker - Backyard, North Delta BC

I took about 40 photos over the course of an hour, but pared it down to these ones below. The first is a male House Finch. I'd seen the female the day before but the photos were very poor.

House Finch - Backyard, North Delta BC - 2017 Bird #56 (Day before)

Earlier in the day, I'd seen a Rub-crowned Kinglet in the Suet feeder. This was my motivation for setting the camera up for remote-controlled shooting. Here's one taken using the set-up.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Backyard, North Delta BC - 2017 Bird #57

The Bewick's Wren was visiting the suet feeder frequently.

Bewick's Wren - Backyard, North Delta BC

That was it for this weekend. The next one was the Family Day long weekend and I'd be active all three days.

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