Delta birding

It’s winter here in Vancouver BC Canada and our shores are being visited by some wonderful migratory visitors! I recently visited the delta region of Vancouver and was rewarded with some great wildlife sightings and photos!

Murmurations of migratory birds full the skies with the dancing waves of magic!

And in the background of this video, on the strait of Georgia, the BC Ferries boat sail across to vancouver island from the Tsawassen ferry terminal in delta

While Snowgeese sleep in a white band on the sea some trumpeter swans swim closer to the marshy shore – their lovely trumpeting call sounding across the water in beautiful melodies..

And in this video a young bald eagle sits perched on a driftwood stump on the edge of the marsh quite innocently watching the lovely swans when suddenly a northern harrier comes in and chases him away! Wonderful to watch the interaction between all the species!

Short eared owls are here too for the winter and hunt the marshlands along with the harriers in wonderful flying displays! I could watch them all day!

Bird watching is so rewarding – wrap up warm against the colder winter weather and get outside and be amazed!!

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Winters day – December 1st 2018

Saturday 1 December 2018 at Deas Island regional park on the Fraser river in Vancouver BC Canada – had a fantastic day birding – weather started very cloudy and cold but soon brightened up!

Wrap up warm for winter birding in Vancouver – warm (waterproof) jacket, gloves, boots and a beanie or scarf – especially if you’re out early like me – although the sunrise wasn’t very spectacular today there were lots of birds and wildlife out and about to watch and photograph! Including this little grey squirrel eating the bright red berries in the holly bush!! So cute!

https://youtu.be/usZVimccwZk

First bird sighting was a sweet little golden crowned kinglet – fluttering through the undergrowth and bramble bushes! When watching birds always keep your distance and follow Audobons guide to ethical birding behaviour! Nature will reward you!

https://youtu.be/-u7wdN_rGo0

Then over head were squabbling bald eagles, jostling for position of a high branch in the cottonwoods trees overlooking the Fraser

https://youtu.be/AuckyZ6l1fo

And highlight of the day was this beautiful peregrine falcon – crop full and a blood stained beak – he posed beautifully for me!! What a pleasure to see this beautiful raptor!

Red tailed hawks were plentiful – some are very shy and fly away before I can get any shots but this one soared overhead – enjoying the warming thermals of air – such a lovely raptor! Other red tails I managed to photograph through the trees – they obviously felt safe with some branches between us!

https://youtu.be/H9OEABhzZJg

I also managed to see a lovely heron – down out of the wind – in s little spot of sunshine – what s good idea- I took this close up video so you can see how beautiful he is!! One of my favourite birds!!

https://youtu.be/v5K1uzic9_w

And finally a selection of scenic photographs from today for you to enjoy! A bit grey and overcast – but the visibility was very good so I managed some great shots across to the north shore mountains – covered in snow! Beautiful scenery today!

King tides in Richmond BC Canada

 

 

King tides and heavy winter rain storms raised the water levels here in Richmond BC Canada recently – 27 November 2018 – and the marshland was flooded! All the little rodents and voles were flushed out of their burrows and I got to watch some spectacular wildlife action as the crows and raptors picked off the little creatures to feast on!

 

Watching wildlife can sometimes be a bit distressing but one has to remember that in the wild its all about survival – and the circle of life – eat or be eaten! I have a few videos to share with you from the past few days – I find it fascinating watching wildlife and nature in action – although I did feel quite sorry for all the little voles. This is not an unusual event by the way – it happens every year and over the winter the marsh floods several times! I suppose its a way of controlling the rodent population.

 

I firmly believe in ethical birding and wildlife watching as outlined in Audubons Guide to Ethical Birding and I also believe in a policy of non intervention – unless its a raptor in obvious distress – then I call OWL Rehab in Delta to come and assist – I leave it to the experts – I don’t ever try and interfere! It never ends well when man tries to ‘help’! People may mean well – but feeding, touching and handling wildlife should never be encouraged – wild creatures can pick up diseases from us and their rescue should be left to the people that know what to do!

 

My first video show the flooded marsh yesterday (during a break from the rain) – in it you can see all the snowgeese and the aircraft taking off from YVR International Airport – they have a Wildlife Control team that uses raptors, dogs and fireworks to keep the migratory flocks of snowgeese off the runway!

 

 

This video below shows a Red Tailed Hawk that has plucked a vole from the flooded marsh and then flies up to the higher post to eat it! In winter everyone must gorge and eat whenever they can as picking can be lean in the cold dark months of winter.

 

This video is wonderful – it shows the quite mesmerizing display of murmurating noisy, beautiful snowgeese as they take off having possibly seen a bald eagle over head! Dizzy and hypnotic watching these beautiful birds!

 

 

And finally – this video shows a beautiful young bald eagle as he flies down to pluck a rodent from the flooded marsh! Wonderful to watch!

 

There are more videos  and photos (I upload daily) on my YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds – if you’re interested in seeing more!)

 

YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/c/Pacificnorthwestkate

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/pacificnorthwestkate/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/pnwkate

Facebook – https://m.facebook.com/pacificnorthwestkate/

 

Great horned owlet

On a cold day in late winter in Vancouver BC Canada I experienced the most wonderful encounter with a great horned owl and her chick! I had been watching the nest all through the winter for any signs and was rewarded with this! Please watch my YouTube video and enjoy! The adult wakes her baby and feeds him some rabbit that was delivered to the nest site by her mate earlier – after eating she gently wraps the baby into her chest feathers – hiding him from the cold weather and the world! Too wonderful for words!!

I am lucky enough to live in the beautiful city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada! We live in the delta if the Fraser River and are visited every winter by thousands of migratory birds! Along with the Snowgeese, dunlins, dowitchers, northern pintail ducks and the many, many migratory visitors come the raptors! Snowy owls, short eared owls, rough legged hawks, red tailed hawks and bald eagles! Some ate resident here and some just winter here! As an avid birder and wildlife watcher the colder weather brings really interesting sights and sounds!

I try to always be an ethical birder and photographer – always respecting wildlife and their right to space! Don’t chase snowy or short eared owls through the marsh for that perfect photo – totally unacceptable behaviour!! Never bait and never flush – and pack in, pack out (never litter!) – sadly not everyone follows Audobons guide to ethical birding that I do! I keep my endangered bird sightings to myself until they have left the area! And the same applies to nesting birds.

These great horned owls I’ve been watching for months – years even! They breed every year here and I look forward to watching the baby owls grow as they have such lovely characters! Wildlife watching is so rewarding if you give it space and respect their right to live without mans interference!

Please watch my video showing this lovely encounter on a cold day earlier this year –

https://youtu.be/QpUEFhoZNKs