Reifel is one of Canada’s top birding areas, popular with keen birders and beginners alike. I enjoy visiting during every season because the diversity of habitats means a good mix of birds. Late summer is especially pleasant, when ripening berries attract Cedar Waxwings, shorebirds arrive in the West Ponds, and dispersing juvenile birds wander through.
The sanctuary can be a sociable place, as birders gather to watch Western Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitchers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and other shorebirds. Occasionally a Peregrine Falcon will descend dramatically on the flock and stir up the migrants.
Fall and winter are also terrific times. Lesser Snow Geese arrive from Russia beginning in late October and feed in the sedge marshes and nearby farm fields. Waterfowl are abundant, and a dozen species can readily be seen on a winter’s day. Other sought-after birds include Black-crowned Night-Heron, Sandhill Crane, and nesting Great Horned Owl, and I always keep an eye open for an elusive American Bittern or Virginia Rail in the cattails. — Anne Murray
Anne Murray is the author of A Nature Guide to Boundary Bay and Tracing Our Past: A Heritage Guide to Boundary Bay (Nature Guides B.C.). She also wrote about geolocators in the article The golden age of tracking, and also about Drayton Harbor, Blaine, Washington, Hotspot Near You No. 149, and the Boundary Bay Dykes, Delta and Surrey, British Columbia, No. 173.