Sunday, February 3, 2008
well, early this morning (Sun 03) i got up and started to think about which destination we would go bird today, the sun was coming up and it looked like a good day.
i checked out the Rare Bird alerts and came across a listing from Chilliwack about an Iceland Gull that had been sighted and photographed yesterday (Sat 02).
this was a hot bird and i didn't even think twice; our mission today would be Icelandic
i checked the maps to see how far away Chilliwack actually was from North Van and found out it was roughly 100 KM each way, in other words; a ways off.
still, i was determined and got Audy up and told her we were going to drive a long distance to see a seagull She was game and finally we were off.
we found our way to the Salish pond (situated in the city core, next to the Rhombus hotel) at around 9:00am to find a big gathering of gulls lounging about on the ice.
we were the only ones there for a while and i searched harder than i had ever searched through gulls before looking for the Iceland Gull.
Eventually a few more birders arrived and i knew i was in good company, if the Gull was around, one of these guys would probably find it.
the general consensus however was that the Gull was not here. it was then that i found out about a second pond down on the other side of #1 highway called Sardis pond that the Gull had also been seen at.
We all decided to go down and check it out even though a few had been there already this morning without sighting it.
Well we looked and looked and didn't see it there either. It was cold and my clothes were kind of damp but it was all good because i was in the rare type of company that understood the passion of birding completely and it was refreshing to have to talk about nothing but birds for a change suddenly, Mike Tabak spotted the Gull!
it had flown in, and was now swimming in front of us, mixed in with the other gulls but sure enough, everyone agreed, Iceland Gull.
I was able to get some shots thankfully before it flew off again (not even 10 minutes later) but of course, from the distance and conditions we were shooting in (white snow + white gulls = camera has problems with) i was lucky to get anything.
nonetheless, here are the fruits of our days labour.
I can't wait to tell the guys at work tomorrow that i drove 200 KM on Sunday to look for a seagull