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By keithric
Whew! Just finished perusing the tempest in the teapot elsewhere on this forum.
Time to get back to some poor pitchers—er pure pictures!

As I indicated last month, I wanted to finish up my winter postings by focusing on the transition between seasons. We've actually had a couple of lovely springlike days, unfortunately separated by cruel reminders that winter doesn't end officially for another two weeks!

All winter long, I've been trying to get decent shots of juncoes. I know that's not a big deal at the coast, but this bird had become my nemesis — until recently. Finally caught up with one at Munson Pond on February 22, on a day when it was really beginning to feel like Spring!
Slate-gray Junco - 2

My post on Red-tails featured Whitey the Harlan's Hawk. He's still around after three months, but gradually shifting his territorial boundaries eastward ever since his main competitor there, Harri who flew like a Harrier, has apparently moved on. Anyway, I was able to get a nice shot of Whitey at eye level on a fence post just across the brook:
Whitey has moved east - 1

Also, to my great surprise, Lil Butch, the juvenile Northern Shrike who also arrived around the same time as Whitey is still spotted, though not as closely, in the same area of the marsh (s)he's inhabited since December.
Lil Butch (record only) - 2

A sure sign that the transition to spring has begun is a sudden hankering to visit one of Kelowna's hidden gems for waterfowl watchers, the Kids' Fish Pond on Hall Road. Fed by an artesian well, it supports a large and friendly flock of Mallards (apparently fed by some of the locals, contrary to city bylaws) and always includes, in late February, a handful of Buffleheads. Hence, a few days ago, I went up to renew acquaintances and found to my great joy some ducks in the pond that I hadn't seen there before....
I have visited the pond since on five different occasions with differing light—both from weather and time of day. The best way to work the pond is with another photographer. It stretches about 200m roughly north-south and 40m east-west. The images below are arranged from first encounters to most recent:
Bufflehead drake (in shade)

Bufflehead female

Common Goldeneye female

Common Goldeneye drake - quite a different look from the boys of Mission Creek posted earlier

Canvasbacks - three drakes

Canvasback pair - 1

Common Merganser drake - 4

Canada Goose and Common Merganser drake

Bufflehead pair

Bufflehead drake

Bufflehead drake - 6

Bufflehead drake -in bright light

Canvasback drake (portrait)

Common Merganser drake - enjoying the sun

Meanwhile, back in Thomson Marsh / Mission Rec Fields, spring birds or birds doing spring things become more common as February gives way to March:

Northern Flickers go to ground:
Northern Flicker male - 2

We see more Black-capped Chickadees:
Black-capped Chickadee - 2

and Red-winged Blackbirds begin to repopulate (rebirdate?) the bullrushes:
Red-winged Blackbird - 1

and, if we're really lucky, the Bohemian Waxwings pay us a final visit before they depart for higher elevations:
Bohemian Waxwings - 5

Bohemian Waxwing - "Come on, now, you didn't think we'd leave without saying goodbye, did you?"

When the first bluebirds appear in the next few days, we'll know that winter is over...
And a whole new season will begin! Never a dull moment for birders, right?!

Happy Spring! Good Birding! :D
Wow ! You have been busy Keith ..... these are all tremendous shots. Unfortunately ( ha! ) I have to wait until the powder snow stops falling and I can hang up the skis to wrap winter up and concentrate on the boids.
Wonderful sampling of Kelowna's winter birds. Having lived in Kelowna I see how much I was unaware of as a kid growing up, though your shot of the Waxwings definitely brought back memories of trying to clean the stains off the sidewalk after they had swept in and cleaned off our Mountain Ash tree what goes in comes out. My favorite of this grouping is certainly the pair of Bufflehead, I have yet to get a decent shot of either male or female Bufflehead and you managed to get them both in one lovely capture, especially nice with the rainbows in the water ripples too!
So Far In May

Great selection of shots, Neal

a couple of warblers & a vireo

Great series of shots Keith. Cheers. Sorry De[…]

Happy Mother's Day

Great series, especially for the day.

Cormorant Fly-bys

Thanks for sharing. And yes it is a good spot.