Feb 11/2016 Surrey Lake Overcast 7c
Over the years I have been on numerous outings with the Langley Field Naturalists (LFN)
Some trips have been for up to five days long but most are morning or afternoon walks. I have trekked in the Chilcotins and Caribou where we conducted bird counts for Bird Studies Canada. On other occasions I joined them for day long trips to the Skajit Valley and other Lower Mainland locations. This weeks trip was closer to home at Surrey Lake.
Below is a shot of the signage which outlines the Surrey Lake trail system. Entry is off 152 St just north of 72nd Ave.
|Langley Field Naturalists are lucky enough to have a number of top notch naturalists to guide the neophyte's among us.|
As we walked around the lake we noted a number of diving and dabbling ducks, mallard, green-winged teal, buffleheads, canvasbacks, northern pintail, lesser scaup. mallard, common and hooded merganser and in the Surrey Golf Course pond a gadwall and a single redhead. The redhead is not that common in the Lower Mainland so that was an extra special sighting.
As we walked around the lake and after the dogs walkers had departed the ducks soon dropped their defences and gave us excellent views. If only the owners would clean up and leash their pets everyone would be a lot happier, especially the birds. I hope these images show some of the potential for birding at Surrey Lake. On previous visits I have also seen virginia rail and later in the year warblers and nesting woodpeckers.
We left the lake behind us and walked the trail past a floodplain. A single second growth tree hosted a pair of bald eagles. A red-tailed hawk's nest was in another smaller tree. As we headed through the woodland section of the park the lack of birdlife made one wonder what would the world be without birds. As we stopped and listened the forest began to give up its secrets. The sounds of ruby-crowned kinglets and chickadees filled the air, a Bewick's wren skulked in the undergrowth.
Out of the woods and under hydro towers a flock of male house finches fed in a tangle of himilayan blackberries. An anna's hummingbird came to check us out and three fox sparrows scratched back and forth in an effort to unearth insects from the undergrowth.
The walk had ended and as I packed away my camera and was saying my goodbyes a belted kingfisher landed in a tree close-by. When bird plunged into the watery ditch I took the opportunity to grab my camera to move a little closer. She went back and forth five or six times but only once was she on an unobstructed perch. I moved to include as much of the tree trunk into the background as possible. It's one of my better kingfisher shots and perfect way to end the day.
|Female Belted Kingfisher|
Come join us on sometime, we even have a kid's club for the youngsters and check out the LFN Facebook page and website for more details. New members always welcome. Being a member also includes a membership to BC Nature and a quarterly magazine and wealth of information not available elsewhere.
"It's never too late to start birding"