While driving out to Port Alberni this morning I was lost in thought and realized that it has been almost twenty years since my obsession for birds was re-ignited. It was while serving my last few months of service in the British Army in Alberta, Canada that I spotted my first Great Gray Owl. This northern specialty fueled a passion that had been put on the back burner for almost a decade. The discovery of punk music, football, girls and finally beer (in that order) had changed my focus from a school boy egg collector / young naturalist (some what of a contradiction:) to a stereo typical teenager. A few years of work and three years in the army grounded me back to what is important to me; Birds.
Where am I going with this you ask? Well, in some ways I have still not changed from that grubby little nest robber. I still daydream about the amazing discovery that I am about to find! I still set myself up for failure on nearly every excursion. Instead of thinking about what I will possibly see, I constantly focus on the near impossible! For example; today I was headed back to The Somass Estuary in Port Alberni, a forty minute drive from our home in Parksville.
Anyhow, enough jabbering. My time in Port Alberni today was spent at The Somass estuary where I recorded 52 species. The temperature was good but the fog held over the main reservoirs which made searching the scaup flocks challenging. Highlights for the day included a Cackling Goose which was mixed in with a group Canada Geese. Awesome looks at Marsh Wren. One Swamp Sparrow along the main water line. An immature Northern Goshawk that was held up in a Cedar tree,(until I turned up) possibly waiting for one of the seven American Coots to venture into open ground. Four male Canvasback out across the inlet. A close-up view of a Downy Woodpecker, gleaning bugs from the bulrushes and a party of 36 Bushtit.
So, no mega rarities to brag about but I did have a good days birding and that is what it is all about. (ish)