Vancouver Island, Canada

7th-25th September 2011

Swan Lake, Saanich

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

More or less the first bird I saw at Swan Lake, just after sunrise on the first day of my arrival in Canada, was a beautiful male Cooper's Hawk who was basking in the first rays of sunlight and preening his feathers before flying off to hunt for his breakfast.

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Anna's Hummingbirds are resident all year around on Vancouver Island, and were very common at Swan Lake.

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Feeding in the hawthorn bushes were numerous species of sparrow...

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)

The Song Sparrows on Vancouver Island are much darker with much stronger streaking on the breast than the races I'm more familiar with in Eastern North America.

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

The closely related Lincoln's Sparrow is a common winter visitor to Vancouver Island.

Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)

Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)

Searching for invertebrates hiding on the bark of tree trunks and branches were several Brown Creepers and Red-breasted Nuthatch. 

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

Swan Lake from the floating boardwalk

Blue-eyed Darner (Aeshna multicolor)

eclipse male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis pickeringi)

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