I just returned last night from nine days in Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island on Canada's west coast. We had glorious weather there and did some great birding, taking hundreds upon hundreds of pictures in the process. Sometime this weekend I will begin the process of editing them, but in the meantime I am happy to present some images taken the week before we left for our vacation.
We have now located three additional locations where we can reliably locate Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis and, as you can see, at least one pair was already checking out a nest box. Here is the male disappearing inside.
The female seemed content to perch on top for a while, but it was not long before she entered also.
While we were away there was uncommonly cold weather for the time of year, with even snow one day, so it will be interesting to see whether the inclement conditions have retarded nesting activity. The insect prey upon which these birds rely will no doubt have been in short supply and the female needs a steady diet of protein for successful egg production.
As the following pictures show there is nothing quite so beautiful as a male bluebird on a sunny day and I am looking forward to seeing them again this weekend.
On a small storm water management pond I also observed these Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis. This species is quite common, although it is normally associated with much larger bodies of water and I was surprised to find it on so small an area adjacent to a subdivision.
I have a busy schedule for the next four days but I am sure that I will be able to squeeze in a little birding here and there. I can hardly wait to get out and visit my local patch and see what has arrived since I went away.