Posts tagged “George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Birds from a visit to the George C. Reifel Sanctuary

Heron at Reifel - 2013 © Christopher Martin - 68547I went to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Sunday.  I was hoping to see Saw-Whet Owls but with the cold snap that hit Vancouver and the Lower Mainland a few days before, I was told they had disappeared.  Hardier birds were hanging around the snowy pathways so I wasn’t disappointed with the visit.   This Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) was hunting in the shallows near a blind and wandered very close.
Sandhill Squawk - © Christopher Martin-71887A Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) squawks to its family nearby.
Sandhill Exhalation - 2013 © Christopher MartinThe same bird exhales a puff of warm air.

Pileated Woodpecker - © Christopher Martin-70987A Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) drums on an old tree for insects.A male Mallard's iridescent cap - 2013 © Christopher MartinA Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) swims between the ice chunks in a brackish pond.
Trouble doubled - 2013 © Christopher MartinTwo female Mallards waddle down the pathway.
Wood duck perch - 2013 © Christopher MartinA pair of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) share a perch over the water.
Crane Flight - 2013 © Christopher MartinA small flight of Sandhill Cranes transit between ponds at the sanctuary.


Wood ducks at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Among the reflections - © Christopher Martin-2413-2

I have always loved the crazy colours and patterns displayed by the male Wood duck (Aix sponsa).  They have been somewhat elusive in the areas I am typically out photographing wildlife.  When I was at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary a couple of weeks ago, I came across a raft of them paddling around a chain of small ponds sheltered by overhanging branches above and reeds behind.

Under branches - © Christopher Martin-1780

A quick look back - © Christopher Martin-2315

The ripples in the water and the distorted reflections served as a chaotic yet still suitable background to photograph these beautiful birds.  I stopped and enjoyed almost an hour of watching these fellows swim, waddle and chase one another as well as their better halves.  The weather picked a great time to cloud over and the diffused, even light allowed those colours and the textures in the feathers to own the stage in several of the images.

Out of the reeds - © Christopher Martin-2145

Paddling through reality - © Christopher Martin-2061

One of the last ones I photographed before moving on caught my eye as it hopped out of the water onto a log jutting out of the water.  After shaking himself off, he cocked his head and fixed me with this one-eyed stare.  The stare, his body posture along with the tail feathers slightly askew suggested a bit of a character and he was a fitting model to finish this duck encounter with.

Strike a pose... Vogue - © Christopher Martin-2444


Sandhill cranes at Reifel

Sandhill crane - © Christopher Martin-1965-2

There were a trio of Sandhill cranes along the trail north of the main gate of the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.  They were jostling with mallards and pigeons for the bird seed that is available at the entrance and purchased by some visitors.  This seems to be a good spot for them and it was a great place to photograph these cranes.  The Sandhill crane has an interesting story in Western Canada, it was really wonderful to see them up close.

A pair of longnecks - © Christopher Martin-1928

In the blink of an eye - © Christopher Martin-1915-2