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Sunday, May 27, 2018

"The Darling Birds of May"


May Birding in the Lower Mainland

Springtime was a long time coming to the Lower Mainland. Many of the winter species were still hanging on and new arrivals were slow to show up. Many remarked on how quiet it was in the forests and foreshore. Eventually warmer weather prevailed and a change of season was underway. First were the yellow-rumped Warblers and the Townsend's Solitaires. Then in May there was some real movement including some really good birds and a few surprises.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club

Here are some of the birds of early May including the location and dates as recorded by eBird.

Canvasback
Iona south Jetty.

I was drawn female Canvasback and the calm water, I thought it created an interesting reflection. This bird was a distant speck but enlarged nicely. 
To keep a record of sightings I have been using eBird. The app allows you from the comfort of your chair to plan what where and when to bird.

The #154 denotes the 154th Metro Vancouver species I have spotted in 2018 and so on. Last year I hobbled together 217 species in Metro Vancouver and hope to surpass that number this season. Ticking birds isn't for everyone but if a person has the time, why not.

Want to know more about what birders get up to read this

The difference between bird watching and birding



Sightings cont.

154. Red-breasted Sapsucker Burnaby Mountain CA-BC 01 May 2018
155. Townsend's Warbler Burnaby Mountain CA-BC 01 May 2018
156. Western Tanager Burnaby Mountain CA-BC 01 May 2018
157. Semipalmated Plover Boundary Bay - 104th St., Delta CA-BC 02 May 2018
158. Western Sandpiper Boundary Bay - 104th St., Delta CA-BC 02 May 2018
159. Pacific-slope Flycatcher Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club CA-BC 02 May 2018
160. Sage Thrasher (Below) 21471–21599 Koener Rd, Pitt Meadows CA-BC (49.3154,-122.6214) CA-BC 03 May 2018

Sage Thrasher
Pitt Meadows

This one of the easiest twitches I have ever been on. I drove out to Pitt Meadows exited my car walked up onto the dyke and the thrasher was right there posing on a branch. I fired off seven shots before it hopped down into a tangle long grass. I never saw it again. A wonderful moment.
 Nikon D500 Nikon 200-500 Handheld.
I am happy to say the  resulting image made the cover of BC Birding.

161. Blue-winged Teal Iona Island inner ponds CA-BC 07 May 2018
162. Least Sandpiper Iona Island inner ponds CA-BC 07 May 2018
163. Spotted Sandpiper Iona Island inner ponds CA-BC 07 May 2018
164. Hudsonian Godwit Reifel Bird Sanctuary CA-BC 07 May 2018
165. Barred Owl Reifel Bird Sanctuary CA-BC 07 May 2018
166. Black-throated Gray Warbler Riding ring Brown Park CA-BC 07 May 2018
167. Lark Sparrow Riding ring Brown Park CA-BC 07 May 2018

Lark Sparrow
Brown Park Surrey
168. Black-headed Grosbeak Brydon Lagoon Langley CA-BC 08 May 2018
169. Solitary Sandpiper Riverside Dr, Port Coquitlam CA-BC (49.2657,-122.7373) CA-BC 09 May 2018

Wester-wood Pee-Wee
Colony Farm


170. Western Wood-Pewee Colony Farm CA-BC 09 May 2018
171. Yellow Warbler Colony Farm CA-BC 09 May 2018
172. Lesser Yellowlegs Blackie Spit (Incl. Dunsmuir Farm & Nicomekl estuary) CA-BC 11 May 2018
173. Caspian Tern Blackie Spit (Incl. Dunsmuir Farm & Nicomekl estuary) CA-BC 11 May 2018


         Finding good birds is a mixture of many factors. The more I bird the more I realize how little I  actually really know and how much I have to learn. Birding is a great excuse to get out and exercise, travel and socialize with other like minded individuals. One afternoon I walked a few kms with a birding expert and had the best conversation about our grand children and of course such trivial things the meaning of life.

                                                                   Birds/Meaning of Life

Lapland Longspur
 Iona South Jetty


Being aware of the tides and suitable habitat helps find birds. Try plugging into news groups like vanbcbirds or BC Bird Alert..see blog sidebar 
Some birds, like the Sage Thrasher are easier than others. The Lapland Longspur above was an eight kms trudge along the Iona South Jetty and back. I walked out early in the morning hoping to photograph the bird in the "sweet light" of morning but couldn't find so I returned and birded two kms around the Inner Ponds for a total of ten kms. As I was leaving Iona a birder mentioned the longspur was feeding at marker 192 about three kms along the jetty, a six km round hike. A grand total of sixteen kms and two nasty blisters later I had my shot.

On my way home I stopped off and photographed the Pacific-Golden Plover just metres from the dyke.


Pacific-golden Plover
Boundary Bay

I don't normally photograph birds in the heat of the day but birds have their own schedule so even a technically poor image like the one above can serve as a good ID shot, especially in the case of a rarity. 

****

174. Purple Martin Blackie Spit (Incl. Dunsmuir Farm & Nicomekl estuary) CA-BC 11 May 2018
175. Lapland Longspur Iona Island--South Jetty CA-BC 14 May 2018
176. Pectoral Sandpiper Iona Island inner ponds CA-BC 14 May 2018
177. Semipalmated Sandpiper Iona Island inner ponds CA-BC 14 May 2018
178. American Pipit Iona Island inner ponds CA-BC 14 May 2018
179. Pacific Golden-Plover Boundary Bay - 96th St., Delta CA-BC 14 May 2018
180. Wilson's Phalarope Boundary Bay 96-88 St. (mansion), Delta CA-BC 14 May 2018
181. Bullock's Oriole Brunswick Point, Delta CA-BC 15 May 2018

Male Bullock's Oriole
 Brunswick Point

As I watched the male female Bullock's flew in with nesting material. I visited a few days later and there was no sign of either birds.


Cassin's Vireo
This picture was taken on the Skajit Valley Bird Blitz in early May. I include it as the sighting below in West Van wasn't good enough for a photo. 

182. Hammond's Flycatcher West Vancouver-Eagle Lake Road CA-BC 16 May 2018
183. Cassin's Vireo West Vancouver-EagleLake Road CA-BC 16 May 2018

Hammond's Flycatcher
Cypress Mountain
Warbling Vireo
Cypress Mountain
184. Warbling Vireo West Vancouver-Eagle Lake Road CA-BC 16 May 2018
185. Sooty Grouse Cypress Provincial Park Road CA-BC 16 May 2018
186. MacGillivray's Warbler Cypress Provincial Park Road CA-BC 16 May 2018



Cinnamon Teal
 Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Horrible midday light again but a BC lifer so again a decent ID shot and record shot. The background is the Iona sewage ponds where many birders find themselves over and over again despite the odours.

Common Grackle
 Iona Inner Ponds
187. Evening Grosbeak Cypress Provincial Park CA-BC 16 May 2018
188. Common Grackle Iona Island inner ponds CA-BC 16 May 2018

Dark-eyed Junco fledgling begging for food
Crescent Park.
189. Swainson's Thrush Crescent Park, Surrey CA-BC 17 May 2018


Swainson's Thrush
 Crescent Park


California Scrub Jay
Maple Ridge
Another easy bird was the California Scrub Jay in Maple Ridge. I actually heard the bird(s) before I saw it. I exited  my car and before I could get a good view a neighbour came over and told me they may be nesting in her roof. She'll keep me updated if indeed there are young.




190. California Scrub-Jay Dover St Maple Ride CA-BC 18 May 2018
191. Lazuli Bunting Colony Farm CA-BC 18 May 2018
192 Western Kingbird Colony Farm CA-BC 20 May 2018
193 House Wren 1056 256 Ave Langley CA-BC 25 May 2018

House Wren


"It's never too late to start birding"
John Gordon
Langley/Cloverdale




1 comment:

  1. darling birds indeed! great variety of beautiful shots.

    ReplyDelete