The sanctuary, which is a part of the Alaskan National Wildlife Area, is located on Westham Island in Delta, south of Vancouver. It is situated on the Fraser River Estuary, just west of the South Arms Marshes Wildlife Management Area.The bird sanctuary is made up of salt water mudflats; upland fields; and fresh water, brakish, and salt marshes. It covers 344 hectares (850 acres) of managed habitat and estuarine marsh. In the fall, snow geese flock to this area on their way south for the winter. Today I saw lots of ducks and geese plus one lonely heron. Usually, these birds pretty well ignore humans, but since it's the time when duckling and goslings are born, I had to be very careful around them. The geese, in particular, do not hesitate to hiss at you and approach you in warning.
The highlight of today's adventure was seeing some ducklings and goslings up close. Not far into the sanctuary along the path was a family of geese, the mother and father staying very close to their babies and eyeing the humans who were greedily taking photos. I could almost reach out and touch them, but I didn't dare for fear of being bitten. Later, I came upon a mother duck who was teaching her young to swim. As I watched, the ducklings arrived at a log and they all scrambled up for a rest. (see photo below)
After a while, I arrived at the tower. (see photo below) Now the tower may not be that high, but it's made out of open steel gratings. I decided I would climb to the top (only the second time I've ever done it) and take some photos. From that vantage point I could see the mountains in the distance to the north, the wide open beginnings of the salt water, and the marshy edge of the sanctuary to the south. Coming down is scarier than going up because you can see through the gratings of the steps and it's rather disconcerting.
In all, I wandered for an hour and a half but you could spend a lot longer there. Outside the entrance are picnic tables and you often see families having lunch or a cold drink there. You can buy seed to feed the birds, too, but you are not allowed to pick anything or take anything out of the sanctuary.