Sandhill Cranes foraging for food at Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Sandhill Cranes foraging for food At Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Sandhill cranes feeding at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, BC, Canada

As Bob and I were coming near the end of our visit to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, we thought we had seen the best of what the protected area had to offer that day, a variety of ducks, Lesser Snow Geese, Spotted Towhees and scores of Great Blue Herons, to name a few, but the best was yet to come.  As we rounded a bend in the trail, our eyes fell on several Sandhill Cranes foraging for bits of food in the brilliant sunshine. Read more

Lesser Snow Geese At Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Lesser Snow Geese At Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Lesser Snow Geese fly above trees - reifel migratory bird sanctuary

Bob and I could not overlook the cacophonous racket overhead when a large flock of Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) flew by.  As we took the circuitous route around the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, one section of the trail seemed to parallel the flight path of the Geese across Westham Island. Read more

Hooded Merganser Ducks At Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Hooded Merganser Ducks At Reifel Bird Sanctuary

male and female hooded merganser swimming - reifel bird sanctuary 3

Before Bob and I barely got underway at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, we were shocked to see so much bird life populating the surface and banks of the first water channel along the walking trail.  Numerous pairs of Hooded Merganser ducks plied the calm waters adjacent to the East Dyke. Read more

Common Merganser Ducks At Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Common Merganser Ducks At Reifel Bird Sanctuary

common merganser at reifel bird sanctuary 7

As Bob and I approached the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island,  it was necessary to wend our way along Westham Island Road and Robertson Road before branching off onto the narrow lane that leads to the entrance of the reserve.  A glittering channel of water paralleled the lane, and providing a pop of colour on its surface were two Common Merganser ducks (Mergus merganser). Read more

Spotted Towhee At Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Spotted Towhee At Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Spotted towhee sitting on a bush at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, BC, Canada.

Coming from the subzero temperatures at home in Ontario to the warmer climes of coastal British Columbia, Bob and I expected to see an assortment of duck species when birdwatching at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, but the unexpected sighting of numerous Spotted Towhees caught us totally off guard.  Eastern Towhees are seen in Ontario during spring, summer and fall.  As we soon learned, Spotted Towhees winter on Vancouver Island and temperate areas along B.C.’s western coast. Read more

Northern Shoveler Ducks At Reifel Bird Sanctuary in BC

Northern Shoveler ducks at Reifel Bird Sanctuary in BC

Northern Shoveler duck at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, BC, Canada.

As Bob and I rounded the trail that borders West Field at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, we could not believe our eyes.  In a wide channel in the midst of a slough were several groupings of very impressive ducks:  Northern Shoveler Ducks, to be exact.  We had never seen this species of duck before but there was no mistaking this Northern Shoveler Duck with its over-sized bill. Read more

Northern Pintail Ducks At Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta

Northern Pintail Ducks At Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta

Northern pintail duck at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, BC, Canada.

Even before Bob and I pulled into the parking lot at George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, there was no doubt that we were in for some fantastic birdwatching.  On the approach, paralleling the road, was a channel where Great Blue Herons and Common Mergansers were leisurely passing the afternoon.  Our walkabout began along East Dyke, but we soon branched off onto a trail that meandered alongside a series of very large ponds.  That is where we became enthralled with a flock of Northern Pintail Ducks. Read more