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Welcome to my blog world. This is a photo blog, poetry and short story blog about my life on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings.

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Monday, June 04, 2012

Rare Stilts Victoria Birds


This week we have been having some unusual birds visit us.  At first we just had the Stilts out on a flooded farmer's field.  Four of them flew unexpectedly in upon the marsh. They are supposed to be much farther south I think.  I am unfamiliar with them. They are Black-necked Stilts.  (I am doing a few "u" words for ABC Wednesday.)  (Non-Bloggers: The unacceptable text I am doing is for a game we bloggers play called a meme.)

I am not really a good birder, I usually take a few bad bird photos and I study the birders.  My husband is the unequivocal birder.  The Stilts did not go unnoticed for long. At first the field was empty, just the little Stilts uninterrupted in their quest for food and lodging.  They are rare birds for our area.  (my pictures are really terrible this week but I went out and got great pictures after I had already done the draft of this blog, too late to get them in now...grrrrrr.)

After a few days, the word went out and the little Stilts became the hot birding twitch of the week.  When we last arrived to see them, a birding lady, binoculars in hand, marches up to us and asks if we have seen them. The berm is lined with long dark scopes and men peering unerringly through them as if they are the swat team ready to take down a unruly criminal.

As we leave a bus drives in and out jumps another group of excited birders.   "Have you seen them"  they ask.   We kindly showed them where the birds are.  I would rather they were left undisturbed to build their nest and raise baby Stilts.  But you can't undo a birder's desire to get a lifer.  It is as if his life depends upon it.  Birders are coming from all over the island and from the mainland to see them.

That reminds me of the story of the rare Snowy Egret that has come to see us also this week.  He has arrived at a local mudflat.  We happened to arrive there at the same time.  He would hide in the undergrowth sometime but soon he was uncovered and the tilly hats, long scopes and even longer camera lenses appeared.   I took one picture of a birder sitting on the berm looking quite bemused as the Egret flew directly over his hat, almost landing on it.  Occasionally a car would drive in, a birder would jump out quickly take his snap or plop up his scope for a minute, put a mark in his book.  Then run back to his car and be off upon another lifer search.  I am unable to understand birding!  I spend hours just looking for a bird and then I like to spend hours studying it!

So in here today I have put in a few poor pictures of these birds at the mud flats but as I said before I am not a good birder and now I have probably insulted any birder friends and readers I had or ever hope to have!  Hope they can take the joke. This is just for fun. I love to watch the birders while my husband goes for his birding walk. And the birds are all fine and seem to be unscathed and unaffected by all the interest in them.

Another exciting picture from Muzza below, he found the Cinnamon Teals.
So picture credit for this one to lucky Muzza, brother-in-law.
Here below are some more pictures I took of some birds I happened to get.
Sandhill Cranes
Yellowthroat
Blue-winged Teal
Last week my husband wandered back after his birding walk and smugly says to me, oh I saw the Yellow-headed Backbird and the Yellowthroats, the Sandhill Cranes and even a Snipe.  All I have seen is other birders!
But I do secretly want to be one of them, I bought a tilly hat and binoculars and hope I can try to fit in somewhat with them all.  Wish me luck with that if they read this!


Forgot to mention that we also had around 200 shorebirds arrive here on a mudflat....so if I get time I will put in some pics of them. Some were rare but they were shy and have left the area now as it is getting dry...here are some shots I got. The birders told me one was a Pectoral Sandpiper and  I think the other one is perhaps a  Long-billed Dowicher...I don't know? Any birders out there?  Pics click larger to look and see who they are.


  

Update on the Stilts:  the farmer who owns the field is consulting with a hydrologist as he needs to drain the field and plant but the Stilts need six weeks with water around to nest.  The farmer has been kindly allowing many birders to walk his berm is search of the Stilts.  Hopefully we will get to see baby Stilts!!

The Stilts are nesting for the first time on Vancouver Island.  There have not been Stilts here for 25 years.  Also some Sora Rails and Spotted Sandpipers have been seen in the area.

The memes for this week are:  ABC Wednesday the letter "u". Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story.  I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them as this is the quick way for me to do it.

Show off Your Shot
Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
Tuesday Tweets
World Bird Wednesday
ABC Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday with Words
Nature Notes Wednesday
Outdoors Wednesday

edit note:  I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors made or links not working.  I list all the memes for the week now
as I can only spend a short time on the computer or my eyes get tired. Such is life.
To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.



43 comments:

  1. Beautiful series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  2. You got some terrific captures of these unusual birds! Thanks for taking us on the walk!! Hope you have a great week!

    Sylvia

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  3. Wow, wonderful birds and sightings. The Black necked Stilt is a beauty. Congrats on your rare sighting. Great post and I enjoyed the photos.

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  4. All of them would be very rare birds indeed on this side of the water. So thanks for sharing your fine series of pictures.

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  5. Wow, what wonderful shots you captured. Great job!

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  6. What beautiful birds! I love those long legs and the long bills! Gorgeous shots!

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  7. Beautiful birds.

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  8. Great captures.
    The shots with reflections are terrific!

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  9. I enjoyed your shots, and I loved your use of the "u" words! Unusual, to say the least!

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  10. Great bird photos! In a bit of birding coincidence,I saw my first Black-necked Stilts this morning at the nearby wildlife refuge. They are not so rare here, but I have never encountered one until today.

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  11. Seeing a lifer bird is very exciting.The Stilts are quite elegant looking birds.

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  12. You have a lot of really interesting bird photos. Your comments about the birders make me wonder if you have watched the movie "The Big Year".

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  13. What a wonderful collection of birds, it is overwhelming to see so many from your trip to the marsh. Ya gotta love those bills on the chestnut teals!

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  14. Once you start twitching it seems to become a compulsive habit - excellent photos thanks for sharing them.

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  15. That’s a pretty good set of picture for ones you "just happened to get"!

    Stewart M - Australia

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  16. Lot's of great pics! I'm not much of a birder either, but I'm learning. Where I live we have a lot of birds, but I've never seen many of these...

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  17. Great captures of such lovely birds.Love those stilts and the yellow throat!Have a great day.

    Shantana

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  18. an impressive array of birds!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  19. A lovely serie of photos makes this a great post for WBW!

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  20. beautiful photography. visiting from abc wednesday.

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  21. Great photos and I had a chuckle at your description of all the birders trying to see the new birds!

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  22. A wonderful post.. your images are fantastic.

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  23. Love reading your blog! Terrific images, particularly that Snowy with attitude!

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  24. I am horrible in taking fotos of birds, yours are beautiful.

    Up and Down

    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

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  25. The birds on stilt legs are amazing. All of the shots are great and such an interesting post.

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  26. You don't have to be a great birder to be a great bird photographer...you have caught some wonderful birds...great job!

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  27. lovely series of photographs and I like the inclusion of collages as well

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  28. Yes, I am here with you reading all these wonderful comments! thanks so much.

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  29. these are graceful birds. marvelous photos!

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  30. Lovely series of birds!

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  31. You may not be a birder, but you sure sound like one:):) Coming from someone who only knows the sparrow and the stork, lol! Love you two last bigger pics.

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  32. I like how you described the people watching the Stilts as a SWAT team - LOL! That was funny....

    Great shots of those by the way.

    The Cinnamom Teals are SUCH a beautiful color!!

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  33. wow..what a treat and I know what you mean about being a 'birder' as I think I am a faux birder..I just like to watch them and enjoy the experience..I enjoyed your photos..they help to keep the memory even if they are perfect..Michelle

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  34. beautiful birds...your compositions are lovely too!

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  35. We are here in Victoria for a few days, and I must admit, I so want to find that amazing birding spot. On the other hand, I really hear you about an obsession that sometimes ignores the well-being of the very creatures we love to see. I was really upset with photographers watching the Snowy Owls in Delta and just wanted them to leave the poor owls in peace. I love, love, love your photos!

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  36. wow!
    so many beautiful shots
    their thin thin legs are so endearing to me

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  37. A wonderful series of shots! The stilts are beautiful. I also like the Yellowthroat and the Cinnamon Teals!

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  38. Great shots, great variety!

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  39. Back for a visit. Always wonderful to catch up with your musings and amazing images...
    D

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  40. A superb lot of images here Nora.

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  41. Thanks so much for all the comments...I enjoy hearing from each of you. Nice to see some old friends here again.

    UPDATE ON STILTS; They have babies now!!! I will try to get a shot of them this week. The field is still full of water and the parent Stilts are very protective. There are two nests and actually four mature Stilts there. There are Spotted Sandpipers and Teals there still.

    I will go and check on the Snowy Egret later as people can't find the spots where he hides.

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  42. buona domenica e felice inizio settimana...ciao

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  43. I love your bird shots this week! I am just beginning to take up birding so I haven't purchased my Tilly hat yet. :))

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