Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Vancouver Island - First impressions

The 90 minute ferry ride to Vancouver Island had been a pretty calm affair. Plenty of bird interest with three species of Cormorant, Divers, Scoters, Mergansers, Black Brant and Pigeon Guillemot amongst the highlights.

A brief tour around Victoria culminated in a stop at Cattle Point on the coast and my first encounter with the local residents...

Harlequin drakes are simply stunning birds (with female for comparison) and there were several around to whet my appetite for more - shame the poor light couldn't do them justice!

There aren't too many waders around but a pair of Kildeer were good for starters. The West coast seems to provide a few 'Black' specialities with Black Turnstone and Black Oystercatcher seen here.

Pelagic Cormorants are amazing birds, small and with incredibly thin necks. When swimming the body can be barely visible with just a 'hosepipe' sticking out of the water!

An afternoon drive North on plant business turned up a Bald Eagle or two and a field with 40+ Trumpeter Swans. Mostly adults, sporting that striking straight black bill plus a few juveniles too....

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