We planned a visit to marshes, wetlands, forests, and seaside roads for a binge of bird watching. Three days seemed about right for the Delta area south of Vancouver, BC.
The “hot spot” for birds in late August (not really the best of times for spotting birds) happened to be George C Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Even if you didn’t give a hoot about birds, Reifel has many scenic walking paths, making it a pleasant place for our daily walk.
We saw many birds, managed to identify 35 species, and counted 5 of those as first time seen for us. (Thirty-five is nothing compared to what others see in season.) Still, we hadn’t seen the sandhill cranes that were supposed to be here. So, we stalked about for a view of the cranes. We’d been in the park for most of the day, and, when we started to head back, a sandhill crane startled us. Surrounded by comparatively short mallards, the crane, at water’s edge, stood out.
The crane seemed to be expecting something from us and was a bit uneasy. We motioned to each other to slowly back away and allow the crane and mallards to go back to whatever they had been doing when we strolled by.
Now, who was stalking whom? We became edgy as the tall crane (almost 4’ tall and having a long sharp beak) continued after us, so we picked up our pace, and finally lost our stalker as we rounded a bend in the path. Whew!
After years of pursuing birds, this was the first time a bird had chased after us.