2009/03/11

Rewarding birding day: Belted Kingfisher and Western Grebe

This afternoon, I drove my parents to Steveston to do some grocery shopping. After we were done, my mother and I walked along the walkway towards the Britannia Heritage Shipyard, and we saw four Double-crested Cormorants, many Mallards and American Wigeons, many Gulls, one male Red-breasted Merganser, a few Pigeons, and others.

The "others" were the highlights of the day.

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) out at sea.

Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) sporting a cool 'do'
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) with a very unique headstyle.

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
A very lucky shot of a Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) taking off and running across the water.

But what really kept our attention was this female Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) rattling and diving in a large "pond". This is my first time seeing it this year (last time was at Boundary Bay of last November) and my mother's first time ever. So she was pretty excited to see this beautiful special-looking bird.

There it was - feeding on a small fish between its heavy bill. It kept flying across the pond and feeding - not giving me a very good opportunity of taking its pictures.

This is a female because Belted Kingfisher is one of the few bird species in which the female is more colorful than the male (reverse sexual dimorphism). In this species, the female has a rufous band running across the upper belly, while the male does not.

Female Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon)
A better view of this beautiful bird. I think Kingfishers are my favorite group of birds, especially with the more colorful species in Southeast Asia. I think they are just so cool-looking with that headstyle and that dangerous-looking bill. Too bad only this species is common across North America.

Later, I walked from Terra Nova back to home (while my parents drove the car back), and I saw the pair of Bald Eagle resting in their nest. But then a crow flew onto a adjacent tree and was causing some tension. So one eagle flew to that tree to warn it off. Then it was joined by its mate.

Looked as if they were talking to each other. I wonder about what.

Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
What a loving pair!

Saw this pair of Hooded Mergansers when I was about to exit from the trail. Another happy couple.
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2 comments:

Huckleberry said...

Once again, great shots!

PSYL said...

Thank you for the nice comment.

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