Trip Report by Thomas Plath
Despite the bad weather, six participants showed up to bird Reifel Bird Sanctuary in the rain. The recent cold spell and snow had pushed out most of the birds so the refuge was quieter than usual. An adult Black-crowned Night-Heron was roosting at the usual location at the entrance slough and nice male Anna’s Hummingbirds at the feeders. A thorough search for Saw-whet Owls along the east dike was unsuccessful but did produce several Wood Ducks. The west field and dike was quiet until Thea spotted an American Bittern creeping along some log debris close to the dike edge. The group was delighted to observe this reclusive and shy bird within 25 m of the dike edge, standing and then “freezing” on a log offering great views. This excellent sighting definitely brightened the mood of the group. A winter plumaged Ruddy Duck was observed on the ponds, is a very scarce visitor to the sanctuary. Finally to end this successful field trip a pair of Sandhill Cranes was trumpeting on the entrance lawn.