Wednesday 22 January 2014

Serpentine Fen and Surrey Lake

Jan 21 2014 Serpentine Fen and Surrey Lake.
The inversion which has been blanketing the Lower Mainland in thick fog led me to re-think where I was going to bird. Originally I meant to go to Boundary Bay but with so little sun the option was to visit the Serpentine Fen where the fog had already lifted and the light was perfect.
On a good day Western Meadowlark or American Bittern can be seen. A few years ago a Cattle Egret stayed but unfortunately died when cold weather arrived. A Red-tailed Hawk scoured the pathway for prey. American Wigeon, Mallard, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser and Double-crested Cormorants bathed or fed on the Serpentine River. A Belted-kingfisher could be heard rattling away but not seen. A Northern Harrier glided across the fields spooking the flocks of Green-winged Teal into the air.

Overhead a pair of Trumpeter Swans make their to fields planted with carrots, a large flock of Canada Geese and then more Mallard splash down just beside me. A Marsh Wren takes advantage of the warm sunshine.
A Double-crested Cormorant dries its wings in the Serpentine River.
A large portion of the Fen is set aside for birds. The area is heavily used by dog walkers, many of who let their pets run free. Birding is best in the early morning. These pictures were taken at midday when birds are on their guard or have taken off to quieter pastures.

A Great-blue Heron catches a salmon smolt.
The walk around the Serpentine Fen was quite uneventful. The usual suspects included Song, Fox, Golden and White Crowned Sparrows. Spotted Towhees, Marsh Wren and Dark-eyed Juncos made up the small birds. Medium sized birds included American Robin, European Starling and Red-winged Blackbird.

The master fisher catches another fish.
Look at those eyes!

I then made my way home via Surrey Lake where this Cooper's Hawk was looking for any movement in the hedgerow below.

Cooper's Hawk
At Surrey Lake the highlights were five Ruddy Duck as well as Bufflehead, Northern Shoveler, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Common Merganser and a pair of Pied Grebe.

Good Birding


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