It's been a hibernation kind of week. We've had a variety of weather, though - it's gray and misty and windy out right now, but I've tried to get outside a bit during the chilly sun breaks. During one such afternoon I decided to go for a walk at British Camp, where I hadn't been for a while. The sun was shining on my drive there, but was starting to disappear behind the clouds when I started my walk.
As I approached the Park I saw a pileated woodpecker - very cool! There was a nice mixed flock of birds near the parking lot as there often is: chestnut-backed chickadees, golden-crowned kinglets, red-breasted nuthatches, and brown creepers - all the usual suspects. Garrison Bay was pretty empty. The resident Canada geese were no where in sight, and I didn't see any ducks, scoters, mergansers, or bufflehead like I was hoping.
When I entered the woods on the Bell Point Loop trail there was a little flurry of activity. It turned out to be a large group American robins, spotted towhees, and varied thrushes. They were spread from the depths of the bushes (towhees) to the tops of the trees (varied thrushes) and it was a congregation of thrushes unlike any I have ever seen before. Pretty cool!
As I moved on I apparently walked right into a storm cell, as I found myself in the middle of a torrential downpour. That hushed up any bird activity and also made it too dark to take many pictures. The only ones I snapped were of this patch of black elfin saddle mushrooms:
By the time I got back to the car after completing the loop hike I was drenched. Of course I drove a mile down the road towards home and the pavement was dry, so I picked the perfect time and place for my hike. Ah well! While it's not the best for birding or photographing, there's something to be said about being out in the woods by yourself during a rain shower. I still felt rejuvenated when I got home.