A walk around Reifel with a Hutton's Vireo

This weekend I went to Reifel and had a pleasant walk. I first came across the resident Great Horned Owl after Jim Martin had found it, on a nice open perch. I also had a nice encounter with a Ring-necked Duck. I have been trying to work on my duck photography. It is much harder than it looks and Ring-neckeds have been one on my "to photograph" list. I got the chance today and even got the neck ring to show on film! They usually are more skittish in my experience.

I hand fed the Sandhill Cranes. It is amazing how gentle they can be with their long beaks. I saw many brown-creepers, common redpolls and chickadees. I also got a photograph of a bird I have been wanting to photograph for years, a Hutton's Vireo. I have seen many of course, as they live in the lower mainland year round but photographing one is another story. Although, they move slower than their confusing cousins, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, they have always moved too fast for me.


On Sunday, one gave me a nice pose. No tapes were used it just sat there. I ran into Jock McCracken who told me about a male Yellow-headed Blackbird that he had found at the Westham Island bridge. I was able to relocate him in the same mixed blackbird flock, near to 2 Mute Swans in the river below.

I had a nice photo session with a male Bufflehead who was painstakingly close but the light was never right and I was dissatisfied. Had the light been correct it would have been a dream shot, which I still crave with that duck species. With that bird you need the sun to bring out its iridescence; any other way would be committing a disservice to such a stunning drake. There were Canada Geese, Rough-legged Hawks, Peregrine Falcons and many Northern Harriers. A lone Short-eared Owl was hunting way out on the marsh.

Here are a few shots from my outing:

Finally I got a decent shot of a Hutton's Vireo - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Sandhill Cranes are truly elegant. Nature really is art. - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Ring-necked Duck showing off his signature ring - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Ring-necked Drake Portrait - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Resident Great Horned Owl in the open - Photo: Melissa Hafting

After I went to Iona and saw a full rainbow. I have never seen one so thick and full. It was a true rainbow and I could see the top and all along to both arches. I had my long lens so couldn't capture the true magic of it.


A portion of a full rainbow in Richmond - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Seeing a rainbow like that reminded me of Maya Angelou's moving words on the subject, which you can listen to HERE.


Well I soon will be escaping this dreary weather for California and I hope to report back with tales of my lifer Nazca Booby!

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