Travel away makes you appreciate nature at home, and the lush green foliage of May around Delta is always a treat to see. Everything looks nice and fresh and the land is full of birdsong and life. Victoria Day at Reifel was busy with visitors but there were plenty of birds to see. Pairs of Wood Ducks swam around on the ponds, seemingly content with each other’s company. A couple of Wood ducklings roamed free. This species often seems more casual about shepherding its young than the female Mallards that meticulously keep track of their flocks of offspring. There were plenty of those to see too, plus Gadwalls, Blue-winged Teal and a stray American Wigeon, left behind when the flocks moved on. It was interesting to see the nesting Sandhill Crane, boldly on view in the middle of one of the central ponds. This species is normally so shy elsewhere in the Lower Mainland when it is nesting, but the Reifel birds seem to have inherited an extrovert gene. One bird sat quietly on the nest while the other came over to visit with the humans, that were happy to give it grain.
We saw a couple of Cedar Waxwings, returned for the summer, and Brown-headed Cowbirds were much in evidence, the males calling and parading in front of one another, with no need to engage in nest building or parental care, as these birds lay their eggs in other birds’ nests.
A quiet morning visit, midweek, turned up such species as Wilson’s Phalarope, Cinnamon Teal, Peregrine Falcon, and Black-headed Grosbeak, but even when the crowds are out, there is usually something to enjoy at the reserve.