Good Birding Monday - female Canvasback, Sharpie, Snow Geese-in-flight, eagles, and Harrier-in-flight

I was going to walk with my mother to the dyke today. But just a few blocks away from our house, light rain started to fall and my mother decided to head back home and I can bike to the dyke by myself. Sigh.

Grey weather.

Looking at the water for something unusual.

Far far away in the middle of the water was this...female Canvasback (Aythya valisineria) - photo taken with FZ18! Wow, my second time of seeing this species. I wonder where is the male?

Snow-capped North Shore Mountains
Despite the gray weather, the North Shore Mountains are actually quite visible.

Biking through the Sharing Farm towards the slough, an accipiter suddenly flew (very low to the ground) in front of me and went the way I just passed. So I quickly turned around and slowly walked closer to where it landed.

Using the bushes as my cover, I took several shots of this handsome Sharp-shinned Hawk (please correct me if I am wrong).

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Then came two Cantonese-speaking women who were absolutely clueless about their surroundings and scared away the hawk (who flew to a treetop, but when I got closer it completely disappeared out of sight).

There were many Snow Geese by the parking lots again, so I slowly biked to there. Along the way, I took many photos of the Snow Geese with the snowy mountains as the background, but none came close to satisfaction to be posted here.

Then came the male Ring-necked Pheasant.

Not wanting to have the same (scary) incident as the last time, I kept my distance and biked through the Snow Geese.

After following me for a short distance, the pheasant turned around and decided to follow someone else. (I saw the pheasant again as I was heading back home. This time, it was among a murder of crows.)

So I was able to sit at a bench and photograph the Snow Geese gathering and as the newcomers fly in and land.

Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens)

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens)
All taken with my new Olympus E-620! It is so great to have a fast-focusing camera and decent quality at high ISO. It is also great for these birds to come so close so that I can get decent photos with my relatively short lens.

Poof (with droppings raining down) as all the Snow Geese took off in a hurry!

Because of the Bald Eagles.

Close-up on the eagle on the right (with FZ18).

The eagle took off all the sudden. I got this lucky shot.

Then I biked to the slough (where I saw the pheasant and crows hanging out together), a juvenile heron catching small fishes, and a male Northern Harrier ahead of me flying zig-zag over the ditch. So I got off the bike, took out my camera and without time to change any settings, the harrier flew to my right and so I awkwardly turned myself in that direction (with the bike still between my legs) and took the following shot. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Male Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Handsome male harrier.

Getting cloudier (compared with the first image). In fact, I could already see the rain falling over Vancouver Island (not shown in this image).

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
A Bald Eagle calling as another eagle fly by.

Time to go home.

365 days ago (2009-03-15) ... "The rain is falling down hard right this moment too." Just like last year.

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