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Monday, April 19, 2004

Last weekend I went to a bird sanctuary in Ladner B.C. called "The Rifle Bird Sanctuary". I went there with my friend A and his girlfriend J. It was a good opportunity to try out the new 200mm lens. I didn't really see any unusual birds, so I was a little disappointed in that respect, but there were a lot of interesting ducks, mostly the common mallard.

The mallards were all very accustomed to the presence of humans, and they were following us around hoping for food. I brought a bag of raw sunflower seeds with me, and they really enjoyed them. J. also had some mixed bird food that she was feeding them. You can purchase a little bag of bird food at the entrance for fifty cents.

I think one of the most difficult birds to photograph is the swallow. I love watching them fly--they are extremely acrobatic--and they're very sleek and pretty. I tried and tried to focus on one and after about half an hour trying I finally managed to get this one in mid flight. She came within about 20 feet of the lens, but she was zipping by at about 50 miles per hour.

Having a memory like a goldfish, A. forgot to bring film for the trip and had only one roll, which he quickly used up. I let him use my G2 digital camera for the rest of the day:

Here he is with J.:

One of the funniest things about this place is that there is a little shed you can go into with slots in the wall through which you can watch the birds without disturbing them. "What's so funny about that?!" you might be asking yourself. Well in that shed, there is also a bucket with fish food in it, and you can feed the carp down below. It's great because they come right up out of the water to eat when you feed them. I got this photo of one of them asking for more:

The thing that really made my day though, was that I finally got close enough to a Red-winged Blackbird to take some nice photos. I love the Red-winged Black bird. I guess I love all birds, but the Red-winged is one of my favorites. When I was a little kid, I lived right beside a big marsh area and there were lots of them there. They make a beautiful sound.

Isn't he pretty?

This little one was pretty too:

I don't know my birds well enough yet to identify this one, so anyone with information, please feel free to email me and let me know.

And what would a bird sanctuary be without pigeons? Hee hee! Yes, they were plentiful.

Here's another pretty mallard and some unusual ducks of which I'm not familiar. Again anyone who can identify them, I'd love to hear from you:

So that's about all from the Rifle Bird Sanctuary. I'd like to go back again, perhaps later in the evening or early in the morning. I was hoping to see some owls.

In other news, our weather here has changed from summer-like to chilly again. I'm sure it will improve soon, it just feels a little wrong after all the good weather we've been spoilt with. Here's a shot of the north shore mountains from north west Burnaby:

I just realized, those of you who are using dial-up connections, it'll probably take you about a week to download this page of my journal. Sorry about your luck.

My back has been killing me lately. Today I almost took the day off because of it. It's making me cranky at work too. If it's not better tomorrow I'm probably go to my physiotherapist. I don't really want to miss any work though, so I'll try to stick it out. Silly me, I know.

Bye for now, and thanks for looking at my journal. I really appreciate everyone who comes here.

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