We three went off to Boundary Bay today in a beautiful pea green boat. (Not really, it just sounded like the beginning of a nursery rhyme and the story does involve an owl.) It was rather chilly, what with the wind coming off the water as it was and I was glad I had on my thick, wind-blocking, insulated pants. At first I felt overdressed, like I should be skiing, but I was sure glad I had them on after standing about staring through binoculars. Happily we saw three Northern Harriers flying over the swampy salt-water marsh area and at one point, very exciting this bit, one harrier startled/annoyed a Barn Owl into flight. The Barnie soared and flapped over the reeds in a jerky fashion until it settled down lost to sight. I know, silly harriers and their silly antics disturbing you.
Of course we didn't get any photos of the aforementioned birds but I included a pic of the area anyway because it is very beautiful, even in winter.
Even in winter...brrr... ( And yes, I noted the irony of wearing down whilst bird-watching. The down jacket is from Patagonia, however, and they source geese from European farms where goose down is a by-product of the food industry. The geese are raised primarily for their meat and liver (no force feeding is used). The down is collected by live-plucking at the farms and from slaughterhouses after the geese are killed. On these farms, live geese are plucked only when their feathers are ready to molt. The geese live outside but have access to the barn if they like. This is all from their Footprint Chronicle webpages so you can check out how they do things. Also the nice lady from Patagonia emailed me back right away when I asked her about the down. I love the jacket and I like knowing geese weren't killed just to keep me warm...just fed ; ) I guess I like to eat birds but not denude them??? Weird standards. Something to think about later.)
Okay, where was I?
O.W.L is the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society and we stopped by on our way out of the area. Unfortunately it was closing time and we just missed the tour but the very friendly fellow invited us back in such a friendly fashion that we could not help but be befriended.