Saturday 3 January 2015

New Years Day Birding

Jan 1 2015 Boundary Bay. Sunny and cold 3c

Now that 2014 tucked away in the 'ye olde' memory bank it was nice to kick-start off the new year with a few hours of relaxing birding in one of my favourite locations, 72nd Ave. It is also a favourite for joggers, walkers, families, horse riders, bikers, photographers and birders.
When I arrived there were a number of photographers already set up waiting for the Golden Eagle. It was just too busy so I headed out on to the dyke pathway in search of some winter sparrows.
It's a place where a tripod and long lens attracts questions like, What can you see? What are you looking at? How big is your zoom? and without fail, are there any Snowy Owls? I think I spent as much time chatting and socializing as I did actual bird photography!
Despite all the foot traffic, hunters blasting ducks out of the sky and dogs running loose a few of the smaller bird species still hung around. In the distance a Golden Eagle could be seen chasing flocks of Northern Pintail while a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers were flitting around on a frozen section of the foreshore. They were quite far way but I have included one record shot.

First bird up was a Lincoln's Sparrow, a species I don't see too often. I've also seen them at Brydon Lagoon in Langley

Lincoln Sparrow (melospiza lincolnii)

Next up was an American Tree Sparrow, another species that is not that common and only found in a few locations. There are three possibly more at 72nd, they seem to hang out in the same area each year with a flock of White-crowned Sparrows.

American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)

Next up along the trail were a small flock of Yellow-rumped Warbler feeding on a sheet of ice. There seemed to be something on the ice that they interested in, possibly seeds from the yarrow plants now beaten down by the wind and laying on the ground.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

Then a noisy Marsh Wren. According Sibley's Bird Life and Behavior the Marsh Wren has been known to have as many as 219 different songs. All I know is one can usually hear the tek-tuk-tjejejejejeje before you can see it .

I look for reward to corresponding with many of you throughout the year as I travel the Lower Mainland, BC and Canada so until then I wish you a Healthy and Happy 2015.

2015 Birds so far
Cooper's Hawk
Northern Harrier
Golden Eagle
Bald Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Lincoln Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
North-western Crow
Northern Flickr
North-western Crow
Glaucous-winged Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Marsh Wren

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon


  1. Just gorgeous was there today and did not see the tree sparrows with Ilya but we saw all the rest you have featured

    happy 2015 John your photos are great!


    1. I think there should be a vote of BC Birder of the Year, I think Nick would be a great contender, what do you think ? He found some amazing birds and enriched the birding community without any fanfare of self-promotion. I'm sure you could get that going!

  2. Awesome, glad you had a good day.

  3. Great Pictures John!. AG

    1. I can't believe all the fantastic birds to found in the Lower Mainland and BC, my English birding friends are most envious!

  4. Sounds like you had a great year! I also saw the Tufted Duck at Iona. Just happened to be volunteering with WildResearch at the banding station and was lucky enough to get a peek! You take wonderful pictures! Looking forward to frequenting your blog!

    - Kiirsti