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Reifel Bird Sanctuary - October 19 2012

Posted by birder on Tuesday, October 23, 2012
On October 19th, I visited the Riefel Bird Sanctuary in the afternoon. At the bridge to go onto Westham Island (the sanctuary is on Westham Island in Ladner), there is a Bald Eagle pair that nests in a tree. Today, the male and female were out in the open perched by their nest. It was a very good opportunity to see and photograph the size difference between the male and female Bald Eagles. Here is a photo of the pair of eagles:

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I stopped on my way through Westham Island to watch a huge flock (probably 900-3000 birds) of Snow Geese. They were honking and feeding on a farm field. I took some photos of them:

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There were lots of wintering ducks in the sanctuary. I was fun to see many more species of ducks around there had been in the summer! The ducks (and duck like birds) I saw were Gadwalls, Mallards, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teals, Lesser Scaups, a Hooded Merganser and American Coots. Most of these were all over the sanctuary, and lots were posing for photos. Here are some photos of the wintering ducks in the sanctuary:

American Coot:
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American Wigeon:
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Gadwall:
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Green-winged Teal
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Hooded Merganser:
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Lesser Scaup:
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Northern Pintail:
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Northern Shoveler:
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There were also some shorebirds in the Sanctuary. One Greater Yellowlegs was resting by the entrance and there were some dowitchers in the ponds by the blue tower. Here are some photos of shorebirds in the sanctuary:

Dowitchers:
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Greater Yellowlegs:
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The birders in the sanctuary were not the only ones interested in the dowitchers. A pair of Peregrine Falcons took a dive at flock, but they were unsuccessful in catching anything. Here is a photo of a Peregrine Falcon at the sanctuary flying over a group of dowitchers.

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There were songbirds in the sanctuary as well. Golden-crowned, White-crowned, Song, and Fox sparrows were feeding on the ground throughout the sanctuary. Some Spotted Towhees were with them too. I didn't spend time photographing these birds, though, but I did take some photos of some Red-winged Blackbirds. Here is a photo of a male Red-winged Blackbird:

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Another bird in the Sanctuary was this juvenile Great Blue Heron:

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I now had to leave the sanctuary. The Snow Geese on the fields by the roads in Westham Island there were still present, but three male Ring-necked Pheasants were also posing for me. Here are some photos of the pheasants:

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I had a great afternoon birding on Westham Island and at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary.



 

 

 

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