Tuesday 13 May 2014

Birds, Builders and the World Cup

             Iona Regional Park, Richmond B.C. May 7 2014

It was with mixed emotions when after three weeks I left the UK to return to Canada. It didn't take me long to recover from the jet lag and soon I was on my way to Iona for a bit of Canadian Birding!

Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla)

For those UK birders coming to Vancouver, Iona is less than ten minutes from the Vancouver Airport and not that far from the downtown core. Close to the hotel district there is excellent birding at Stanley and Queen Elizabeth Parks. Depending on the time of year, world class birding can be enjoyed in the nearby mountains, beaches and forests. For a quick pelagic trip take a whale watching tour out of Steveston.
Anyway, as luck would have it I missed only one rarity (Lapland Longspur) while I was away so after the jet lag I stopped off at the Iona where  two pairs of Yellow-headed Blackbirds were displaying close to the parking lot. Meanwhile oblivious of all the foot traffic a Marsh Wren was building a nest only a few feet from the boardwalk. The Wilson's above was photographed at nearby SFU where it was among a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers. I had originally gone to find the Sooty Grouse but to no avail.

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Zanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

At the same time an Osprey appeared and circled the ponds but it never made a dive. I'll have to return for the Osprey when the builders (new kitchen and bathroom) leave me in peace and I can resume my 'normal' lifestyle of watching "Footy" and birding. With the World Cup coming up who knows if there will be even be time to eat. 
My wife and I will be celebrating our fifth World Cup together. If England make the finals I will eat my birding hat! Anyway, she knew what she was getting into when she married me, but I digress. 
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

It's Never too Late to Start Birding

John Gordon

1 comment:

  1. I love your photos especially of the osprey and wilson's warbler! Glad to have you back!