First (decent) photos of Barn Swallow of the year

Before I reached the dyke, I saw a crow on wire removing feathers from a mysterious dead small bird. Unfortunately, it flew away after I took out my camera, and changed the lens and settings. Moments later, two Barn Swallows landed on the same wire and started singing.

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) - easily recognized by its long forked tail.

Nice day today.

I first went to the Gibert Road Community Garden (GRCG). However, someone had removed all the dandelions from two plots so I couldn't find any insects at all. It made me think what's the fine balance between native, introduced, and invasive species; and between manmade and natural habitats. The insects seem to enjoy the dandelions (despite it being a weedy plant) when there are not many plants flowering yet. But because most humans don't like them (I like the yellow flowers and parachute balls myself), they remove them and now the insects will have to go elsewhere to feed. If we can just let nature take its own course.

Anyways, after seeing nothing at GRCG, I went over to London Landing. The first thing I saw were these three birds arranged according to body size.

Great Blue Heron, (Greater?) Yellowlegs, and a mystery shorebird.

Heron leaving the picture.

Two birds left.

Who is this small bird!!?? This is a original photo cropped at 100%. I think it may be a Sanderling, given the small size, but I am not certain at all.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea  herodias)
Another heron around London Landing. This heron was displaying its impressive fishing skill.

During the span of me watching it (for a few minutes), it caught at least ten (tiny) fishes in a row.

The reason why I come to London Landing. No, not the leaves, the hummingbird on the left!

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)
A steadier image of the Rufous Hummingbird.

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
A Song Sparrow also dropped by on the same tree and started singing.

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
And singing.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Another heron around the landing. Could be the same one from trio of birds. Strange head tilting.

I can feel the muscle tensing when I saw this moment.

And off it goes! Despite the anticipation (one second prior), I still got a blurry and poor-composed image.

Sharper, but now the heron is headless.


Biking towards Finn Slough and seeing another heron fishing.

Saw this insect feeding on Salmonberry flowers. It is colored like a wasp but the size (about same size as a bee) suggest it as a Yellowjacket. The dots on the side of the abdomen look like the one in the wiki page too. This was the only view that I got so I don't think it will help at all. Insect identification is so tough!

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata) in flight.

Saw this tree in blossom as I was heading home. The petals are thick than the usual (cherry) blossoms that I see. Plum blossom, perhaps?

Too much rambling today. Must be because I woke up at 6:55 AM trying to get free coupons to attractions in Vancouver, but still failed.


Tim said...

A yellowjacket is really just a type of wasp (the most common type in these parts, I'd think).
I'm organizing a local Vancouver wildlife blogger meetup...send me an email if you're interested at my gmail account--timochu is my username.

PSYL said...

Thanks for the comment, Tim.

Sorry that I won't be able to join the meetup, I have been too busy the last few weeks with entertaining friends from overseas and packing for my trip to Ontario and Yukon.

Hopefully I will be able to attend when I return.

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