Sunday 17 February 2013

Campbell Valley Park Pacific Wrens/Rant

Campbell Valley Regional Park. Ravine Trail. Feb 15th 2013
I needed some solitude, I needed to hear the wind in the trees, the trickle of a woodland stream, the frogs and the birds. I needed peace to commune with nature. The picturesque Ravine loop trail (enter off the 8th Ave entrance) in Campbell Valley Regional Park is the perfect place for this endeavour, it is also a perfect place to watch the Pacific wren.
I wasn't long on the trail before I heard the first call coming from the forest glade. I decided to take the time to sit on a moss covered nurse log and enjoy the afternoon sun. Soon after an inquisitive Wren came to check me out, it scurried around my feet and hopping from fern to moss covered stump. For me this is the beauty of birding. Don't get me wrong I enjoy going on bird walks with others, learning what to look for and discovering new locations but to be honest I think most of us enjoy the solitude of the forest, beach or mountaintop.

Pacific wren (Troglodytes pacificus)

I made a few seconds of sound recordings, quietly took a few photographs and moved on to leave my new found friend alone. On my way back to the car I came across seven other Wrens, a couple of which had mates in tow. Soon it will be spring migration, fledglings will abound and the forest will again be full of song.

The Rant....
This year I have spent many wonderful hours at 72nd Ave on Boundary Bay photographing harriers, owls, sparrows and others species but the behaviour of a few photographers has left wondering if I want to be part of what is quickly becoming a circus!
At the end of 72nd Ave is a fallow field that is perfect breeding ground for Townsend's voles, primary prey for a number of species including Short-eared, Barn, Long-eared owls and Northern harrier. Some of these species hunt at night, others during the daytime, so it is incredulous why a few photographers in their manic desperation to get the 'perfect shot' are walking out into the fields to get closer to the birds. There are even No Trespassing signs which are being blatantly ignored. Many of these people espouse a love of nature but through their irresponsible actions they are disrupting feeding patterns while pushing the owls and hawks away from those of us who are trying to view the birds from the dyke. Worse still, the birds will be forced move on to perhaps less productive feeding areas and possibly face a bleak future. To compound matters, what little farm land is left is quickly being swallowed up by developers and government for roads, shopping centres and monoculture.

*In previous blogs I have images of all the above, all were taken from the dyke pathway including the Snowy owl.

John Gordon

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