There was plenty of snow in Courtenay BC this morning, Monday, December 17th. The wonderful snow plows had already cleared the roads. We headed over to the same muddy fields we were at yesterday. Now, they were under a mantle of snow. Another birder stopped by while we were parking, and told us he had spent the last half hour communing with the wagtail. He said someone had been there even earlier with a scope, maybe the same people that had been with us the night before, when the wind and rain started. Just past the copse of trees and the cable across the dirt road, there was a little marsh where the bird was hanging out. John needed a picture, I needed to see the bird.
We scrunched out through the snow, stepped over the cable, got almost to the marsh and the Citrine Wagtail flitted onto a frozen puddle at our feet. Our sudden proximity startled us and the bird. It flew away to the left, never to return, at least, not while we were there. John and I got a great brief view, but John did not get a photo. He did get pictures of the Spotted Towhee and Fox Sparrow, both new sub-species.
We had time to try for the Sky Lark again, this time, at the airport, but didn't see it. Still, John did get a way better picture of the Northern Shrike than he had before. Even if his search doesn't yield him a target bird, John finds something positive to celebrate.
We returned to the USA on the same ferry we took over to Victoria Saturday, a bit rougher passage, and are staying at the Port Angeles Inn again.