Monday 26 May 2014

Forest Birding in Surrey

Monday May 26 2014 Crescent Park White Rock/Latimer Pond 192/24 Ave Surrey Sunny.
Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)

I visited two locations today that I hadn't visited since the winter. I decided to think out of the box and try for some forest birds. I searched out open glades where birds might be nesting.
At Crescent Park (Crescent Rd/129th St) in White Rock I photographed a very vocal Swainson's Thrush near the children's playground. The call, pwip pwip gave away its location. The sun was pouring through the vine maple and a babbling creek belied the fact that we were very close to human habitation. I waited until it alighted on a moss covered bough and fired off a few shots. This is the pose I like the most.

Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)

 I then visited Latimer Pond (192/24 Ave) where I photographed a pair of black-headed Grosbeak on the outer west trail. 

Spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia)

This is the first time I have seen this sandpiper at Latimer Pond.

All images Nikon D3s 500mm F4 with 1x4 converter.

Latimer Pond is actually more like a lake and has been for the past decade been under pressure from surrounding industrial development. What used to be a lake stocked with trout is shrinking and is becoming weed ridden. Ducks winter there as well as being home to a pair of Belted Kingfisher but for how long who knows. The water level is dropping and although it is a designated park the lake's future is not certain. The City of Surrey are determined to make this their new industrial centre right on the border of Langley. 
This is one location to keep and eye on for the birds sake!

It's never too late to start birding.

John Gordon

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