Only optimists were allowed out birding on Sunday, but we sponged up a few good hours of dry humour. Adding Ilya to our Odyssey early on, we saw a couple of MOURNING DOVES race overhead near Ladner's Harbour Park, as well as the usual several BEWICK'S WRENS and DOWNY WOODPECKERS there; plus a camouflaged half dozen GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS in their favourite weedy grass habitat at the forest edge.
Feeling late for the party, we hastened to Reifel by half-past nine, in time for Ilya to enumerate ten BARN SWALLOWS flying up, down, & all around near the entrance. When a joybegot seagull of indeterminate genes flew lazily by, Ilya looked it in the eye and pronounced its parentage as Californian-inclined, but we settled for surmise as to how its legs became the wrong choice of pink.
After that, we very carefully bird-watched against chilling opposition by the elements, and were rewarded by common expectations rather than rare exceptions. A good time was had by all. We'd have died if not for John's warming hut, which re-fired our enthusiasm. When John introduced us to a SAW-WHET OWL, Jenny pronounced it "cute" and "adorable"; and I notice the chickadees have regarded her disdainfully ever since.
The bird of the day was the one that got away; but, honestly, folks, he was REALLY big: a GOSHAWK, perhaps or probably. We all saw him--for a second or two; then he turned into a MARSH HAWK and thereby disgusted two passersby whose skills in ID were inadvertently insulted by such an imposter. We three remained pretty certain of what we'd had and lost, and remained gleeful, despite being brutally mugged by SANDHILL CRANES gone bad, and weather that dripped from our spotting scopes.
But we left Ilya all smiles, and, you know what? We'll do it all again.
Good Birding, folks!