Sunday 14 September 2014

QE Park: More Birders than Birds

Sept 11 2014 Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC  Sunny 20c

It is sometimes the case when birders converge on a rare or unusual sighting that there are more birders than birds. With all the tall stories being bandied about one wonders whether our feathers friends are just peering out from the bushes chuckling away,  planning how to hop from branch to branch without being seen.
Such was the case Thursday at Queen Elizabeth Park where a keen eyed birder by the name of Brian S spotted a Blackpoll Warbler, a bird not often seen in Vancouver.
As soon as the news hit the internet, the hordes (myself included) descended on beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park. QE Park a former quarry in the middle of Vancouver rises above the surrounding sub-divisions and is a popular spot for weddings, Tai-Chi classes and birders.
To cut a long story short I never saw the reclusive warbler, neither did any of the other photographers and birders who spent most of the morning staring into a thicket of bushes. Occasionally when the conversation petered out some of us would wander off to see if we could find the flock of warblers which had moved silently off while we were sharing birding yarns.
Anyway, there were plenty of other birds to watch and enjoy like the small flock of Western Tanagers, a Black-headed Grosbeak and numerous Anna's Hummingbirds.
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
Orange-crowned Warbler (Vermivora celata)
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)
Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)
All Images Tamron 150mm-600mm with D7100.  Handheld VR for most shots.

All in all it was a great morning of birding even though none of us saw the Blackpoll Warbler. I did however have two guided tours by two great birders, Brent D and Mark W, all the time soaking up their encyclopedic knowledge of bird lore. Building friendships while birding it seems is as much  fun as the actual birding itself!

"It's never too late to start birding"
John Gordon


  1. lovely shots! I heard raymond relocated the bird briefly I never did! LOL nice meeting you :)

  2. I was nice to visit the park again and meet up with so many birders.