Showing posts from June, 2016

HERMIT WARBLERS are so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

Brian Stech and I went down to Rainbow Falls State Park in Chehalis, WA. It is one of the few places near to Vancouver where you can still find pure Hermit Warblers. As soon as we pulled up in the parking lot I heard him singing. There was another malee singing as well but this guy by the parking lot was so accommodating. This male showed no signs of hybridization. I even sent it to a researcher studying them and their hybrids who concurred. I usually don't have great luck in photographing Warblers but this beautiful guy was kind to me. Pure Male Hermit Warbler in Chehalis, WA - Photos: Melissa Hafting

My first decent photo of an American Redstart!

Ilya and I went to Grant Narrows at Pitt Lake in Pitt Meadows, BC. We always wanted to photograph an American Redstart well and we finally got the chance. This male was singing his heart out for a female who we did end up seeing as well. These birds are local nesters at Grant Narrows and are rare anywhere else in the Lower Mainland. They prefer to breed in the interior of BC. This goes the same for the Gray Catbirds that only nest at Grant Narrows locally as well. They aren't easy to photograph as well so I was pleased to get a good shot of one of the 5 we saw that day. Eastern Kingbirds and Bullock's Orioles who also nest here were out in full force and it was blistering hot. These photos were taken at Catbird Slough. Grant Narrows is one of my favorite places to bird. Male American Redstart in Pitt Meadows, BC - Photo: Melissa Hafting Gray Catbird  at Grant Narrows - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Twitching one BC bird but finding another (a SNOWY PLOVER)!

I went with friends Peter Candido and Kevin Neill to Ucluelet,BC to twitch a White-winged Dove that Ian Cruickshank had found the day before. The bird was coming to a feeder so we were hopeful that these notorious (one day wonders) would actually stick this time. Well we got there after the 3 hour drive from Nanaimo and were dissapointed after hours of standing upright waiting for the dove to fly in. Every time a Eurasian Collared-Dove flew in we almost had a mini stroke! Well we were just about to give up and make the 3 hour drive back to Nanaimo so we could catch the evening ferry to Vancouver defeated. However!!, Ian Cruickshank called me and said Mel I have a Snowy Plover right in front of me. He must have gave me directions but I don't think I listened too well. I mumbled we were coming and Peter and Kevin were already running to the car. Well apparently this place was only 15 mins down the road... we ended up driving right past the place Ian was and went straight to Tofino!

Young Birder Trip to Pitt Lake

Young birders at Pitt Lake - Photo: Melissa Hafting We had a great field trip to Grant Narrows in Pitt Meadows, BC today with seven kids present. We started out first by finding a rare bird for the area, a House Wren he was on the east side of the dyke adjacent to the end of the Pitt Lake parking lot as you head South towards Catbird Slough. This was a lifer for many of the kids. We then got a beautiful male singing American Redstart further south down the dyke which was another lifer for many of the kids. He provided great views and came down low which was a thrill. Gray Catbirds serenaded us as we walked along and Black and Vaux's Swifts flew overhead. A Virginia Rail was chastising two River Otters that were swimming too close.We were happy to see a Bald Eagle nest with two begging Eaglets. There were lots of young out there as we saw Yellow Warblers carrying food and Common Yellowthroats and robins and even saw a Black-headed Grosbeak feeding its fl

The Beauty of Common Loons

I aas able to take the boat out yesterday and try out my new Canon 100-400mm II lens at Lac Le Jeune in Logan Lake, BC with my friend Roy Priest. We ended up seeing an adult Northern Goshawk flying right over us and then it perched on the other side of the lake. By the time we got the boat over to the other side it had flown into the woods. We found a loon on the nest and thought she was unfortunately pretty exposed to predation it was wonderful to see her on the nest though. I hope all goes well for her and her brood. We saw a pair of Merlins flying around who obviously had a nest nearby like the Goshawk and there were many Black Swifts in the air. Tons of Swallows as well including a very sick Barn Swallow and a Sora and Virginia Rail calling. Buffleheads were out with their dozens of tiny cute chicks and Yellowthroats and Marsh Wrens were very vocal. The lake was very alive with bird life. There were at least 8 Loons on the water yesterday and a few in flight, I didn&

Young Birder Trip to Merritt

Black Tern in Merritt, BC - Photo: Melissa Hafting Well we had a fantastic trip to Merritt we ended up with 85 Species including seeing 10 Lewis's Woodpeckers and 14 Swainson's Hawks including a Kettle of 11 of them all at once with a Peregrine and Kestrels and a RTHA. We also had 2 Williamson's Sapsuckers and got great views and 22 relatively close Black Terns and 2 Clay-coloured Sparrows and an accommodating Dusky Flycatcher and Pygmy Nuthatch. We also had Ruddy Ducks and Cinnamon Teals that swam really close to the kids which was incredible. Mountain Bluebird at Douglas Lake - Quilchena, BC - Photo: Melissa Hafting   Here are some of the other birds we saw: Turkey Vulture YHBBs Black Terns Lewis's Woodpeckers Western Kingbirds Lazuli Bunting Coot and chicks Vesper sparrow Ruddy Duck Brewer's Blackbird Cinnamon Teal Lesser scaup Pied billed Grebe with chicks Wigeon Raven RTHA Bald Eagle Osprey Ring-necked Duck Canvasback Malla