Saturday 6 July 2013

West Vancouver Birding

July 5, 2013 Grouse and Cypress Mountain. Sunny
Following my most excellent road trip mentioned in previous blogs I came home to much grass cutting, pond cleaning and planting. Birding took a backseat while I slowly caught up with things. The Lower Mainland weather has been so hot that birding and gardening has to be done early in the day. By 5 a.m Friday I was making my way to hopefully photograph a male Nashville Warbler on Grouse Mountain. Didn't really know if it would still be there, The bird had been first reported about ten days ago so who knows. I soon joined fellow photographer/birders Raymond and Tak, both had visited the location before and within twenty minutes and with the sun still behind the mountains the colourful songster arrived and gracefully posed for us. What a beautiful bird the Nashville Warbler is! Some distant firs created a pastel background so perfect for the  500mm F4 and a 1x4 converter combination. Just another day in 'birdie' paradise!
Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla)

The Nashville can be found along the power line east of the Grouse Mountain "D" parking lot.

None of these pictures would be possible without the generous sharing of information by other birders. One reason why Birding is North America's most popular pastime.
Next it was off to find a MacGillivray's Warbler. Without spotting any at Grouse it was off to Cypress Mountain where better luck might ensue. There are plenty of turn-offs and viewpoints on the mountain road to Cypress where openings in the forest attracts a wide variety of species. Here are the morning's results. We came across a small flock of Townsend's Warbler, heard Sooty Grouse booming away, watched a pair of Band-tailed Pigeons and were serenaded by a Spotted Towhee before finding our other warbler of the day.
Band-tailed pigeon (Columba fasciata)

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)
The Pacific variation of the spotted towhee has spotted wing-bars.

MacGillivray's Warbler (Oporornis tolmiei) Grouse Mountain
Technically far from perfect but something to improve on subsequent visits.

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