Langley's Nicomekl River & RNPH again!

After my work in Langley ended earlier than expected, I decided to walk around and check out the nearby parks. But maybe because I was in the mood to hurry back to Richmond or something, the parks were not too appealing.

Nicomekl River, but I must be upstream because it certainly doesn't look what Wanderin' Weeta had described.

Then I headed back to Richmond. I decided to get off a couple of stops before my "home" stop and went to Terra Nova and slowly walked back home. And guess who I saw again!?

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Yep, the Ring-necked Pheasant was out again and was also saw by three people.


Langley and then sunset watching at dyke

Today was quite tiring. I had an on-call job all the way in the Kwantley University Langley Campus today, so I had to wake up really really early and after 3 bus transfers and more than 2 hours later, I was there. After it finished around 3-pm. I took the bus again back to Richmond. It rained most of the day, but it stopped when I got home in the afternoon. The golden sunset looked quite interesting today and so I grabbed my bike immediately after I got home and enjoyed the sunset.


LIFER! RNPH in Terra Nova!

My post begins today with entering the Terra Nova Sharing Farm, where birds of all sorts meet and greet, and enjoying the seeds and insects in the soil.

Entrance into a magical place!?

Birds such as:

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)
Hanging Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) with interesting bokeh

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) with piercing eyes.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Most of the birds were quite shy and it was difficult to photograph them, especially so close to the sun setting where the lighting was not optimal. That was when I started pedaling to the back of the farm and hoped to find the Short-eared Owl again. And that was when I realized that someone (or something) was behind me!

Who is that!!?


Mother finding chickadee cavity and bittern

Seeing how the Spring-like conditions have brought some flowers to blossom, my mother and I went for an afternoon stroll in front of my old school today.

Moon With Blossoms
The Moon was also visible in the daytime, and I thought the flowers and branches framed the Moon nicely. Plus, I like the bokeh.

Close-up on the flowers.

While cutting through the neighborhoods, we spotted a Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) flying in front of us. While I was hoping to photograph the bird, my mother (from another angle) saw it poked its head into a tree and came out. Examining it closely, I realized this is a cavity!

The hole is probably quite a bit larger than a loonie and about 2 meters above ground. You can't imagine how excited I was when I saw this - since I just spent the entire summer looking at nest cavities. I didn't spend too much looking at it since the chickadee was back and I did not want to disturb it. [Hugh of Rock Paper Lizard also saw the cavity excavation by chickadees last spring.]

Then we slowly walked to the dyke.

Female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Not a happy duck to be photographed...

My mother seemed to be on a roll today and pointed out this bird to me when I didn't even see it. It's an American Bittern!

The bittern went into its usual stop-raise head-move again routine.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
It has been a while since I last saw this bird. So gorgeous! And good to know it is still around.

We were hoping to see the Bald Eagle today but they were not around when we got there. However, shortly after we sat on the bench an eagle had arrived.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Thank you!

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
My mother also said hello to her friend, the heron.

Moon watch of the day.

Another Great Blue Heron as we slowly walked home. This one was on someone's roof.

Enjoying the sunset.

And pretty soon, the sun disappeared behind the island.

So grateful to have my mother with me on my walk, otherwise I wouldn't see so many new things today.

365 days ago (2009-02-21) ... My 100th post, and right now I am in my 362nd. Wow!


Another good birding day..

Another gorgeous day today!

Not a cloud in sight.

Saw this small-sized accipiter flew past me while near the golf course. I quickly turned around and followed it. It was hiding in the branches against the sun, so I had to really overexpose the picture to get a brighter shot. Luckily, the software was able to bring some of the colors back. This was definitely not a Red-tailed Hawk, I think it was either a Cooper's or a Sharp-shinned Hawk - I can never really tell them apart even with the help of this website.

A Cooper's Hawk, perhaps? Because of the finer brown streaks on the upper breast.

A Bald Eagle was already in the nest when I came out. It was sticking its head (the only reason I could spot it) and perhaps looking for its partner?

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
A Great Blue Heron was dozing off on this tree today. Is it because it is safer and/or drier?

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
A closer-up shot.

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)
Saw many Golden-crowned Sparrows today. This was one of them.

Hooded Mergansers and Gadwalls were spotted at the Terra Nova slough.

I think today was a day when I saw the most Short-eared Owls in all of my outings. I think I saw them at least five or six times today, with at least two individuals observed.


Arrival of cherry blossoms...

My mother and I visited Steveston this afternoon to buy some seafood and fruits. Near the bus stop, cherry trees were already blossoming! My mother think they are at least one month ahead of past years.

The pink flowers goes great with the blue sky background.

Close-up on the flowers.

Then we went to the dock first to check out the fishing boats. Since most of them haven't arrive yet, we decided to take a stroll along the waterfront first.

We saw several Common Mergansers, as well as one female Bufflehead.

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Most birds were shy and pretty far away. The closest a bird got near us was this Double-crested Cormorant.

Bald Eagles across the river.

Then we arrive at the bridge and the outlook area.

Where the Mallards and Wigeons were dozing off in this gorgeous sunny day.

The usual male Bufflehead was around, but this time he has a female beside him. I wonder if it was the female I saw earlier.

In the midst of the peacefulness was this female Belted Kingfisher, circling around the water and continuously diving into the water. It caused quite a racket among the ducks. I wish I was able to photograph it's gracefulness diving into the water...

Then the kingfisher disappeared. But appeared again and flew on to the tree where a Great Blue Heron was also nearby. Can you spot the two birds in this picture?

Cherry Blossom
One last look at the (white) cherry blossoms before we set out what we were here for - shopping.

365 days ago (2009-02-19) ...


Bald Eagle watching...or vice versa

This morning, my mother and I went to Richmond centre to take care of some things (get a haircut, grocery shopping, etc).

In the afternoon, I went to the dyke again. I didn't saw too many wildlife today, but I did came across the Bald Eagle pair when I was heading home.

Pair out at the same time.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The more visible one.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The less visible one.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
If looks can kill...

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Such beautiful birds...

Another point-of-view of the pair. I wonder who's the male/female?

According to this site, there is a book titled "The Bald Eagle" by Mark V. Stalmaster, and in this book there is a formula that helps to determine the sex of the bird.

"Sex = (bill depth x 0.392) + (hallux length x 0.340) -27.694 (measurements in millimeters). If the answer is positive, the eagle is a female. If the answer is negative, the eagle is a male."

Good tip, although I wish it works without catching and handling these powerful raptors.

365 days ago (2009-02-18) ... saw coyotes for the first time this day last year. I haven't seen them for quite a while. I hope they are still around.


Northern Flicker searching for food...

Another nice day today, although it was quite chilly and windy.

Blue sky.

Young Great Blue Heron.

I biked towards Steveston today. Along the way, I was searching for the harriers that always rested on the logs when I pass by. I didn't see anything except for this little round thing moving on top of the fallen log.

It was a female Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) searching for food within the long-dead trees.
Female Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Female Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Moving on to another log.

Searching for food again. I think it was digging for insects rather than drilling for them, because I didn't hear anything loud drilling noises like the ones I usually hear from woodpeckers and barbets.

Arriving at Garry Point Park. At the edge of the rain-filled pond was a group of Ring-billed Gulls.

Saw a pair of shy Red-breasted Mergansers (Mergus serrator). Such peculiar looking birds with stylish crowns.

Mt. Baker and Pilot.

Saw this Northern Harrier when I biked home - just looking around and resting.

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