George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary – Delta, BC

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Have food, will come.

Last week I visited the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta for the first time and it was such a beautiful and relaxing place to be that it’s definitely recommended to check out. I was hoping to see snow geese but they weren’t around the areas where you can see them easily. The only birds that weren’t camera shy were the hundreds of ducks waddling for food. I don’t have a telephoto zoom lens and when I went and saw all the photographers with their impressive zoom lenses, my little 55mm lens felt like small fry. So I had to make do with photographing ducks but I did see some eagles and hawks too!

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Peaceful walk along the reed-lined path

A 45 minute drive from Vancouver the sanctuary really does feel like one. Grassy trails circling ponds and overlooking wider marsh lands, I saw a few hawks circling the marshes having probably spotted lunch. Bring your binoculars if you have a pair! I think I only walked around half of the sanctuary at a very leisurely pace and that took three hours so it’s a great day trip. There’s a $5 admission fee for adults and you can also buy bird feed for a dollar.

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Feed me! Feed me!

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Spot the imposter

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Red-winged blackbirds

I’m just learning how to upload video on my blog so I thought I’d include this little video of what I think are blackbirds singing away.

Close to the entrance is this beautifully carved out bird bath / bird feeder / garden ornament… I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it’s cute.

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Woody the stalking squirrel

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Mallard ducks

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One of the viewing decks overlooking the marshland

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The observation tower overlooking the estuary

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Wood ducks

I visited on February 2 which also happened to be World Wetlands Day. I never understood the importance of wetlands until I visited the sanctuary and started reading more about it to write this blog post. Wetlands can control flooding, filter, purify and store water, and are considered one of the most productive ecosystems in the world supporting a large variety of plants and animals. Unfortunately more than half of wetlands in Canada alone has been lost through degradation, drained for agriculture and human settlement. The Reifel bird sanctuary provided me with an opportunity to see the beauty and importance of protecting our wetlands, and I hope if you and others visit you’ll see that too.

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