Driving around Richmond

After dropping my father off at work, my mother and I went to Iona Beach to do some bird-watching.  Besides the swallows flying back and forth over the pond, it was a pretty quiet day, bird-wise.

A couple of Mallards on the water, including this female duck and her six ducklings.

Several Sand Wasps on the beach area.

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
Walking along the jetty, we saw a Northern Harrier and this male goldfinch eating the seeds of the dandelion.

Too fast for my camera

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
While heading back to car, we saw two Double-crested Cormorants uncertain where to land and kept circling the pond.  It was a strange sight to see them so high in the sky, relative to them usually just skimming the surface of the water.

Near dusk, we headed to the West Dyke Trail and hoped to see the Bald Eagles nest next to the golf course.

North Shore Mountains
Haven't been back here for a long time.

Over the peak
I miss these views.

Like over at Iona, there wasn't a whole of things going on.  But I did spot this hawk resting on a log in the field.  Before I knew it, it was flying towards us!

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Then it landed just across the trail!

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
When it was on the log, I thought it was a harrier.  But when it got closer, I realize it was (probably) a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Gorgeous bird

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Then it disappeared behind the trees.

Sunset over Gulf Island
Then we went over to Terra Nova and missed the sunset by a bit.

At the golf course and Terra Nova, we heard these strange angry calls from these birds.  Initially I thought they were gulls but when I used my binocular, I believe they are terns - Common Terns (Sterna hirundo), perhaps?  Unfortunately, they were too fast (and the lighting was too poor) for me to get a proper photo.

Moon-watching on 2012-07-28

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