There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Peaked crown Female:
Brown head and body
Darker brown back and crown
Wide pale area near base of bill
Narrow white eye-ring
Dark grey bill with black tip
Blue bill with white ring around base and black tip
Purple head and neck
Chestnut ring around neck (not easily visible)
Gray flanks with vertical white finger at forward portion
Dark back, tail, upper- and undertail coverts
I spent a chilly but enjoyable afternoon at Swan Lake yesterday. Along with the many mallard ducks and Canadian geese, I noticed this little duck (pictured above) swimming all by herself. She kept away from the other ducks and geese, as well as from the people feeding them on the boardwalk. Fortunately, I was able to snap a few pictures of her. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any of the American Bittern that some of the more seasoned birders pointed out to me. Its colouring blended in so well with the reeds that I was only able to catch a glimpse of it when it moved its head. The others seemed quite convinced of its identity though and were very excited with their sighting. Oh well... I guess that gives me a good reason to go back.