Monday, March 25, 2013

Fresh Birds + Reifel Rip-off?

ooohh controversy :lol: nah, just something that rubbed me the wrong way at Reifel (i'll get to it later) and some recent birds.

Feels good to be getting out regular-like again.

This morning (Saturday) at Maplewood i came across much birdsong, the highlight of which was listening to two Varied thrush serenade each other, so haunting yet beautiful.

Pine Siskin flocks have been working Maplewood for a few weeks now, i'm a sucker for a good light/open BG shot and will take it every time :)


Song sparrow in ideal conditions.

Had a Common Loon in close briefly as well and was able to get off a few low angle shots from the shoreline.


Friday was an odd morning in that i decided to drive out a-ways and work my way back to North Van hitting as many stops as i had energy for (lugging the 500mm around on your shoulder does eventually wear you out) and in the end ended up in the biggest traffic jam to get across the Massey tunnel i have ever been in, seriously, it was ridiculous, i waited a bit of it out at Deas Island park and nailed a clean shot of a Brown Creeper there as a bonus.


Ok, lets not get ahead of ourselves, back to the beginning.

I started the morning at Blackie Spit and felt lucky to spot a pair of Red-breasted merganser far out in the water near the end of the spit but was able to get a few decent shots anyways.


As well, spotted a Marbled Godwit out in the distance and got a couple of quick shots off before the flock it was in scattered.


Nice close looks at this immature Bald Eagle turned out to be the best shots of the location.


So after all that i decided to head over to Reifel to do a walk through, my mind was thinking ducks but the wind was picking up a bit and my ideal glassy, calm, water condition shot may be a tough go today.

Walking up to the entrance i realized that my yearly membership had expired in Feb and i would have to renew.
I usually deal with Vari and have never had a problem with her, she is cool but unfortunately this morning there was someone new working, no matter.
I cheerfully told her i would like to renew my yearly membership and provided my credit card and membership card. As per other years i told her that i would come back for the new card etc. at the end of my walk, to which the woman behind the counter replied "yeh, if i get around to it.."

uh, ok..

First bird-activity was this Cooper's Hawk near the beginning.


Later i laid down and waited patiently at a placid pond in hopes that a pair of shovelers would wake from their slumber, no dice, a handsome Northern Pintail did provide the type of look i was hoping for from my visit and i was happy.


I walked back to the entrance and was pleasantly surprised to see my card and receipt ready, cool.

While walking back i looked at the card and saw that it was only valid until Feb 2014 :?
really? I thought we were well into March already?

I decided to walk back and point this out to her (this is where i get rubbed the wrong way), "uh, excuse me, shouldn't this be made out to March 2014?"
"oh, it goes by last years date" to which i reply "well i just lost a month didn't i?", she then gives me this look and shrug like ~ so? is that my problem? ~

i left it at that because i was starting to feel a wee bit annoyed at her attitude but tell me, does it mean that if i had delayed renewing my membership until say, July, i would be paying for only 7 months if indeed February was some golden rule that was set in stone?



was it some veiled discrimination due to my long lens and tripod?

was i just another of those photogs in her eyes that only goes to Reifel to harass Saw-whets or what-not and worthy of lesser treatment? - I saw one that morning by the way and kept walking - take that!.
I don't know (ok, i know it wasn't discrimination, i can, i suppose cut her some slack and put it down to being an off day or something), but i wasn't impressed.
As it is, the past few years, actually going to Reifel enough times in a year to make the yearly membership worthwhile is kind of a losing proposition, i really just do it to support the place. :roll:

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The Waiting Area

The Waiting Area