After the cold snap in early December, the weather went very mild and damp and it has stayed that way for weeks on end. Plenty of birds are sticking around in Boundary Bay. We are regularly seeing big flocks of dabbling ducks, Mallard, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, with a few Gadwall, Northern Shovellers and Eurasian Wigeon too.
A good place to see the more unusual Eurasian Wigeon is at Centennial Beach duck pond in Boundary Bay Regional Park . There is always a flock of the common American Wigeon hanging out here, swimming in the pond then getting out to graze on the nearby grass. The Eurasian male is distinguished by his red head with a creamy yellow crown stripe, and grey back, compared with the green and cream head, and browner back, of the American.
There is also a flock of Brewers Blackbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds frequenting the pond area, feeding on the ground and flying up into the cottonwoods if disturbed. They roost in the evening in a patch of cattails just east of the carpark, and can be seen flying in there in twos and threes when the sun sets. Sometimes the male Red-wingeds give a little tentative song from a nearby bush before settling down, and the song is developing as the days lengthen. It is beginning to sound a lot like spring.