Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sandhills and Mud Flats

The end of July and the dog days of summer in Texas found us escaping to the cooler regions of the continent. We visited our neighbors to the North, crossing into British Columbia at the Peace Arch. I spent a day at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary is located just south of Vancouver off River Road. Much of the sanctuary was the homestead and farm of George Reifel. He donated the land to the Province on two conditions: that it be maintained as a migratory bird sanctuary and that it bear his father’s name forever. Much of the sanctuary is salt marsh and wetland. A portion of the old farm is still planted to supply food for waterfowl. There are plenty of easily walked trails and observation blinds and a tower. Red Breasted Nuthatches, Wilson Warblers, Spotted Towhee, and Common Yellowthroat darted around the trails. Tree Swallows were abundant. Bald Eagles and a Red Tail Hawk flew over the area. Canada Geese and Mallards and Pied Bill Grebes were found in many ponds. Waders such as Long billed Dowitchers, Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, and Western Sandpipers were evident. At one point I sat down under the tower and looked over the mud flats. These Sandhill Cranes walked right up to me.

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