2008/12/23

Hiking to the snowy dyke

Yep, it wasn't just walking today, but more of a hike because not everybody completely shoveled their sidewalks, so I had to hike through the 15-cm snow here at West Richmond to get to the dyke. But it was still fun though.

The sky was beautifully blue today and the sun was out - causing the fall of melting snow from trees and rooftops. At the dyke, travel was okay since there were other walkers (and skiers) before me. Didn't see any snowshoers though. I wish I own a pair of snowshoes, those should come handy in the deep snow.

The art of camouflage. Can you see who's in this picture?

That's right. Snow Goose!

Here are two good shots of the Great Blue Heron flying through the sky today. I was glad it didn't scream out its call to ruin the scenery.

A waterfowl flying through the sky. Not as graceful as the heron but still interesting enough to marvel the flight of birds.


Love the beautiful white snow!

Trying out the Shutter Sister challenge again. The snow actually came up to my boots - that's how deep the snow is!

Clear view to the North Shore Mountains.

I saw this pair of Green-winged teal (Anas crecca) paddling along the icy water. Always enjoy seeing this minute species of dabblers, the smallest of dabbling ducks.

And then they stood up to walk across the ice, which made me realize that I never seen their legs before and how comical their body actually is in disproportion with their legs. Hilarious.

On the other side of the dyke, I saw this lonly trail crossing the Sturgeon Bank and when I looked at the end, I saw a person there. I wonder if that's allowed or not. If yes, I think I like to try too.

Now, back to the other side (next to the golf course) was where some of my exciting sightings of the day took place!

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)! Not exciting?

How about a male Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)?

Or American Robins (Turdus migratorius)? Got to love their Genus name, Turdus.

A Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) sighting should be exciting enough for you. Well, it sure was for me. First time seeing a muskrat by the dyke and up so close too. This fellow was very hungry and didn't mind me edging down the bank to get a closer picture. It was still munching away when I headed home. Neat!
But one new sighting wasn't enough. I later came across this Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius), which was a first for me too! This is a handsome male with a grayish blue nape and back and dark eye band. I am pretty sure there were others hiding among the robins too. Such a pretty bird. Hugh of Rock Paper Lizard had other interesting encounters too here.

Sorry for the small pictures. You might have to look hard for it in the bottom left picture. Good way to train your eyes.

And then it was time to head home since the sun was slowly setting. The rest are just scenery pictures on the way home with the sun setting behind the Gulf Islands.


The beautiful orange-pink color that the sunset paints on this white sheet of snow.


A Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) flew by. Quickly, a picture!



The Northern Harrier flew by again! Quickly, another picture!






A Northern Harrier flew by the third time. Quickly, another picture! (Actually, it flew by me again for a fourth time, but I was too slow to take out the camera - not that I don't want to photograph it again). Can't get enough of these harriers.


In the small pond where I exit from the trail, I took one last look and saw these Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus)! It was a male with three females. What a lucky guy. I guess I am pretty lucky too - to see so many different animals in one day. Good day to be jobless I guess.

2 comments:

Huckleberry said...

I really like your photos, always interesting to look at.

PSYL said...

Thank you, Huckleberry. I can't get enough of your stories and photographs too!

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