Saturday 7 December 2013

The Cold Snap

Dec 6 2013 Kanaka Creek, Colony Farm and Burnaby Lake. Cold and Sunny
 Windchill -7 High -5
The high pressure system that has been hovering over the Lower Mainland had brought below freezing temperatures and best of all sunny skies, a real treat for us WETCOASTERS!
According to reports we may be having the driest year and winter on record. The bottom line though is that everyday is now a good birding day.
Starting at Kanaka Creek the target bird was the American Dipper but as much as I scanned the boulders and icicle laden river bank not a one was to be seen. Time to move on. Wanting to stay out of the biting wind of Boundary Bay I headed toward relatively sheltered Burnaby Lake.
Using the Mary Hill bypass I thought I might check out the Colony Farm ponds for Virginia Rails, sometimes they can be seen scampering across the frozen pond but today but the only sign of life was a forlorn looking Great-blue Heron. In a wooded area close to the car park a small flock of Varied Thrush, Song and Fox Sparrow were sifting through leaves, scratching through the frost to unearth anything that had not been frozen into the ground. A few unsatisfactory photos and it was time to stop off a Burnaby Lake's Piper Spit where I finally found some action.

Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)
 With plenty of semi-tame ducks around the only challenge was the frozen ground and bitter cold wind.
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

Wood Duck
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)

1 comment:

  1. Nice pictures John. That chickadee is a new one for me and a very striking looking one too.