This morning, Simon, Jen and I went to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, out on Westham Island, just SW of Ladner. It was a chilly fall morning, but we were able to brave the cold outdoors by dressing warmly and nourishing ourselves each with a Breakfast Sandwich from Tim Horton’s.

On the way in, I was hoping to see flocks and flocks of snow geese from Russia that winter in this part of the Pacific Coast, but to my disappointment, none were to be found. There was no staff at the Sanctuary to confirm this theory, but with all the weird weather we’ve been having in the Lower Mainland recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have either left early or are arriving late.img_2236.JPG

As soon as we stepped out of the car, we were greeted by a few opportunistic mallard ducks, hoping to be fed. The mallards in the Sanctuary are incredibly sleek and healthy, in much better shape than the ragtags ones that live in Stanley Park. “So plump!” Jen kept on saying, and visions of duck for dinner flitted across my mind.

We picked up a few packets of birdseed at the entrance of the gift shop. Because I was carrying a lot of things, it took me a bit of time to streamline. By the time I was ready to go, a group of ducks had gathered around us, hoping for a throw of birdseed.

There were a LOT of ducks, and most of them were pretty shameless in following us around for food. Mischievous Simon kept throwing gobs of birdseed at my feet when I wasn’t looking, causing me to be swarmed and temporarily trapped by pecking ducks. He thought it was really funny and giggled like a school boy. Thanks a lot, Simon!

In addition to mallards, we saw Black-Capped Chickadees, Loons, an Eagle, Eared Grebes, a flock of big, white birds in flight (possibly Egrets), Wrens, a few Red-Winged Blackbirds, Housefinches, and American Coots. But my favourite sighting took place on the way out of the Sanctuary.

Spotting a flock of some other big white birds feeding in fields, I asked Simon to pull over for us to take a closer look. At first, I thought they might be stragglers from the snow geese migration, but they were in fact Trumpeter Swans!! I was so happy to see them finally with my own eyes! And they really do sound like trumpets!

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