The best day in Spring (so far)

Today was just amazing in terms of the bird species saw! Plus, it was sunny and cloudless and even warm! There were even some people running around in shorts and T-shirts. Anyways, lots of photos to show you guys. So enjoy!

First birds saw were this pair of Bald Eagles. The bottom one is definitely the adult, and I think the top one is a sub-adult in its third year, or at least that's what a third year looks like in my field guide.

Third Year Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Close-up on the sub-adult. No full white head yet.

Northern Shovelers arrived in Terra Nova again.

I am pretty sure this is the same Great Blue Heron that I saw fish-catching a few days ago. It is a master! Look at the size of that fish! Is that a catfish? The heron already had the fish in its bill when I spotted it. It then threw the fish on the ground and stabbed it a few times before getting it in the right position and swallowing it.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) swallowing fish
Fish in the throat.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Agitated
Food enjoyed. First time I have ever seen a heron ruffing its feathers like that. Anyone know what that means?

And Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor)! I saw them two days in this field. But I had no success in photographing them as they were too quick. Thankfully, they stopped for chit-chatting.

Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor)
First time I paid attention to these fellows since I got into birding this year. What a pretty looking bird. It is identifiable by its blue-green back and white breast. I think I like looking at them gliding in the sky because they remind me of bats in Taiwan.

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)
Golden-crowned Sparrow

Flowering Willow
Flowering Willows (Salix sp.) are very common right now.

A Muskrat was observed in the Terra Nova Slough. First time I see them in this area. Not too much vegetation for them here though, I don't think.

A difficult to photograph Belted Kingfisher was also observed. I chased it back and forth and this was the only image I got. I hope to see it again soon.

Yellow Branches Against Blue Sky and White Clouds
I just like the colors in this picture. Orangy-yellow and baby blue are my favorite colors.

And what is that sweet song in the air! Listening and looking for a while, I finally spotted this beautiful yellow bird. I didn't know what it was then, but I know now! It's an American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)! It spent at least ten minutes perched at the same willow (Salix sp.) branch singing away its beautiful cheerful song. Sadly, no one answered back.

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
According to Nature BC (by James Kavanagh), American Goldfinch is "one of the last birds to arrive in spring." Does this mean Spring is finally here for good? I mean, I also saw bees and other insects today.

Returning home, a Bald Eagle caught a prey and was removing its feathers. There were crows surrounding this eagle but I don't think they were after its food. In fact, I think the Bald Eagle was eating a crow.

The feathers that the Bald Eagle was removing were all black, but it was too far away for me to see clearly through my binocular or camera. Today was the best Spring day (so far)!


Chris said...

Woow... This looks like an excellent day as you said.. I love the bald eagle shots... Wonderful.

Cicero Sings said...

Yesterday was the best spring day (so far) for us too. A high of 17.1! Whoot!!

Glad you had such a fantastic day.

Tarolino said...

Absolutely amazing catch. Allthough I too had a successful bird day yours was so much more varied. I'm so jealous of those shots of the eagles and the heron and the fact that the pussy willows already flower over your way.

PSYL said...

Thanks, everybody. I am glad you are enjoying my posts.

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