Tag Archive | Reifel

Weekend Expedition 41: Reifel Sanctuary with Wild Research


I realize that the Weekend Expedition is getting a bit repetitive, and I resolve in the New Year to shake things up a bit. In fact, I make you a promise. Starting in January, things will be different around here!

I did get away again this weekend, and it was back to Reifel Bird Sanctuary, again with Wild Research.This time, it was not as productive WRT raptors as previous visits, but we did see a Peregrine, some eagles, a Cooper’s Hawk, and a Rough-legged Hawk. The main attraction of Reifel is the ridiculously human-acclimated birds. Cranes feeding from your hand, chickadees landing everywhere…It is like a meetup group for bird flu lovers!


The cold winter air has moved on, and the canals and ponds are melting. The atmosphere was very much like standing in front of a cool mist humidifier.


Mike Hrabar captured this shot of some artistic use of the GoPro to record feeding pigeons.


Mike shooting with his new 300!


The reflection from the ice really makes these ducks pop.



Paul Levesque channeling Steve Zissou.


incoming cranes!


I just love the calls of these elegant birds.


After Reifel, Mike and I headed down to 64th St. (On Boundary Bay) to check out some Long-eared Owls. This one was the only one there, and not very active. Pretty though!

Results of Weekend Expedition 3: Reifel


Weekend Expedition 3 went off with no undue trouble thanks to Willow English, a phalarope researcher who drove us both to Westham Island and the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary. This was the first time I had been there in many years, the last having been on a field trip with my vertebrate ecology lab way back in undergrad.
The weather was a mix of fog, cloud, and sun, so no real dramatic lighting was available, but this is typical for this area in the winter. There were certainly a lot of birds, as this is one bird sanctuary where you are allowed to feed the wildlife (which, when you think about it, is kind of odd). I think these feeding opportunities made for some good photo opportunities  such as the sandhill cranes in closeup, as well as the low angel mallard shot. On the raptor front, we were not disappointed to find a sleepy Saw-Whet Owl dozing on a low limb with another somewhat higher. These have been spotted for several weeks now, and in general they seem to be reliably found at Reifel.

Overall, not so many surprises, but it was definitely worth the trip. And feeding Sandhill Cranes really is pretty awesome.
What did you get up to this weekend?