Thursday, February 21, 2008

for the birds

Existential crisis or not, what right do I have to ignore my blog? Since I have no words, I'll post a few photos taken here,

at Reifel Bird Sanctuary, last Sunday.

After the great size 11 black Converse hunt, we revived our mall-worn spirits with dim sum, then spent a couple of hours in the sunshine on Westham Island. One kind gentleman pointed out this amazing creature

a little off the beaten path. Was he napping or just being coy? The place was overrun with Mallards, Chickadees and Red-winged Blackbirds, including this lovely lady,

trying desperately to look as renegade as possible in her very un-blackbird-like plumage. It didn't work, though, as anyone with a field guide can spot her as the female of the species in just a few flips of the pages.

There were a lot of raptors to be seen, not surprising as Delta has the highest concentration of raptor birds in all of Canada. There were Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, a Peregrine Falcon (hunting even) and hawks. I even thought I saw a few hedgehogs hiding in the ponds.

And ducks -- oh so many ducks: Northern Pintails,

American Widgeons,

and this odd-looking black duck. I had to spend a fair amount of time farting around on-line to discover that this was no duck, by George, but an American Coot. And not an old one.

This guy is like the ugly duckling, only bigger and uglier, trying desperately to fit in with the cool ducks. He was so embarrassed he wouldn't even show his face:

All birds have distinct personalities. Teenage boys are no different:


Blogger Janvangogh said...

Ignoring the blog or not. It looks like your time away from it was well spent.

21/2/08 8:42 p.m.  
Blogger Casdok said...

A super post from someone ignpring their blog!!! :)
Hope your crisis is soon over.

22/2/08 1:15 a.m.  
Blogger swampgirl said...

ignoring your blog sucks for us, andrea, but it looks like you had fun. your teenage boys with dreamy hair sure did!

22/2/08 4:21 a.m.  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I've been ignoring mine too! ;D

I enjoyed your photos and appreciate the hunt for size 11 converse sneaks. I've been on hunts like that before myself with my daughter.

22/2/08 5:23 a.m.  
Blogger Toni said...

Andrea we all need a break from time to time. refresh, regroup, recoup and center ourselves.

you know I would love these pics. I could go for a wildlife refuge right now. When i saw the Coot I smiled because I recently learned about the American Coot. My Mom was going through memorabilia and came across three of my Grandfathers soup recipes and one of them was for Coot. But you don't want to try it cuz i hear it is awful.

22/2/08 5:26 a.m.  
Blogger Michelle said...

I was just about to post that ignoring or not, I missed your posts.
Thanks for the tease!

22/2/08 5:26 a.m.  
Blogger Heather said...

Looks like a lovely antidote to the mall!

22/2/08 5:58 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Is there meaning to a blog without a blogger or a blogger without a blog?

22/2/08 6:06 a.m.  
Blogger Homey said...

"Mom! Why do we have to go look at stupid birds anyway?"

I never paid much attention to Birds (other than the prehistoric giant carnivorous kind) until later on in Life.

One day a Hawk swooped down and took a Pidge off of my neighbour's roof. All that was audible was a faint swoosh and a few feathers gently made their way to the lawn.

There to my instant horror, the Hawk, which was smaller than it's prey, quietly started plucking away while the stunned victim looked around...
I actually had to turn away.

22/2/08 6:32 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Jan: Well, some of it...

Casdok: Me, too, but what would I be without it? :)

Swampgirl: It's not normal teenage fare which is why I think they actually did have fun.

Cynthia: And they will insist on being individuals! (phew)

Toni: Coot soup! :( I do love the way it rolls off the tongue, though (the word, not the soup...). And I knew you'd enjoy this post.

Michelle: Thanks. I've been reading yours but not responding -- like most of the blogs I like to read these days.

Heather: The evil mall ~ I agree. Necessary evil unfortuantely.

Caroline: Say that ten times fast.

Homey: Wow. You are hot. Can I buy that amazing time machine from you? I once saw a red-tailed hawk on a fence post making short work of a mouse. Kinda cool actually.

22/2/08 8:42 a.m.  
Blogger Angela Rockett said...

How fun! Sounds like a great day. I've taken a few walks down by our river lately too, and am just amazed by the variety of waterfowl, though I have almost no idea what anything beyond a Mallard Duck or a Canadian Goose is. And, alas, no hedgehogs. Strangely enough, Bothell is home to a lively bunch of wild chickens though.

22/2/08 8:43 a.m.  
Blogger Leah said...

how dare you ignore your blog? i mean, who do you think you are? ;-)

so many beautiful birds. and heh, the video cracked me up. looks like a great day to me!

22/2/08 9:00 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Angela: I'm amazed at how much I've learend in the past couple of years, just by observing more closely the birds in my vicinity. And here's a weird factoid: though most people call it 'Canadian Goose' it's actually, technically called 'Canada Goose'.

Leah: 50 lashes with a wet noodle? :)

22/2/08 9:10 a.m.  
Blogger girl work studios said...

So did you shell out the 50 cents for a bag of seed and have a Tippi Hendren, 'birds' moment? I recall those ducks SWARMING around my kids there. they're ravenous! And you saw and owl? that is cool.

22/2/08 9:22 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Ellen: We got the seed but it was such a gorgeous day that we were pre-empted by hundreds of seed buyers,so no Tippi Hedren moment here. We never would've spotted the owl without someone'shelp.

22/2/08 4:02 p.m.  
Blogger Hayden said...

Wow - the owl is huge, and is that a "horn" tuft I see? Is it a Great Horned Owl? We have a pair nearby, and they are my absolute favorites.

Coots are weird, aren't they? Did you get a glimpse of their ugly chicken feet? We have a lot of them along the bay...

wonderful photos, all of them!

23/2/08 5:23 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love bird sanctuaries. Great shots - looks like a lovely day.

23/2/08 8:26 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Hayden: Yes, it's a Great Horend Owl (that's a tuft). They're even bigger than I expected! Next time I'm there I'll make the coots show me their feet. :)

Citizen: It really was a great day. Spring is almost here!

24/2/08 8:23 a.m.  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

i do so love birds! great pix and your boys look so cute!

24/2/08 2:50 p.m.  
Blogger Molly said...

Great bird collection post. I'm going to have to get out the good camera if I'm going to get pictures this good! Nice!

25/2/08 9:07 p.m.  
Blogger Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I've had some blog lapses and it does create pressure. Funny, when I know people are looking I feel kind of like a slacker when I don't paint.
Type A personality anxiety!

4/3/08 8:28 p.m.  
Blogger Mary Sheehan Winn said...

fabulous wildlife photos btw.

4/3/08 8:30 p.m.  

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