Monday 2 March 2009


  The Reifel Bird Sanctuary is one of our family's favourite places to visit any time of the year. Today I went with one of the boys, our family naturalist (he used to be the family naturist too, but has grown out of that).
It was a great visit. A huge flock of Snow Geese was resting on the fields around the sanctuary on their long migration North to their summer grounds in Russia. The hedgerow birds are starting to get frisky and their plumage is taking on a new splendour. The water birds are just starting to shed their winter reserve and the trees and bushes are on the verge of bursting into flower.
But it's not just for the birds. It's a haven for all sorts of wildlife and of course, where there's a free meal there will be squirrels. I know they get everywhere, but I still get excited when I spot one whether it's running up the tree in our back yard, or stealing from one of the dozens of feeding stations at the bird sanctuary.
Amongst the birds we saw today were the amazing technicolor Woodduck, a Hooded Merganser eating a fish it had caught, Northern Harriers making low altitude passes over the reeds looking for unwary snacks and a Bald Eagle soaring high over the lakes like it owned the place. We saw Pintails, Sandhill Cranes, a Cormorant, Moorhens, Canada Geese. We also saw American Robins, bright red House Finches and one of my favourites - the Red-Winged Blackbird with its red and yellow flashes and it's raucous, piercing call.
And at only $40 a year for a family membership, it's the best value in the Lower Mainland.
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