Bufflehead return to Sidney

First female spotted in Roberts Bay

She’s back and right on the mark.

The first Bufflehead duck of the season appeared on Roberts Bay, Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary sometime around noon Thursday, Oct. 13.

This is the third recorded occasion when a single female has been the harbinger of All Buffleheads Day.

Roberts Bay, the oldest migratory bird sanctuary on the pacific coast, is the wintering ground for about 150 Bufflehead — a small, hearty sea duck that dives up to four metres underwater to eat from the mudflats of the bay. The birds are known for their near-exact migratory timing.

“I had abandoned my observation post temporarily at 11:15 to take a short lesson in pronunciation of the Sencoten (Salish) language, and had guessed that they would not show today as they usually do first thing in the morning, and then I was pre-occupied with media inquiries, until I managed to grab my breath and pick up the binoculars. Tah, tah,” said an exuberant Kerry Finley, who observes the sanctuary.

“They’re back and they’re right on the statistical target of day 298.

Happy All Buffleheads Day.”