Thursday, 23 March 2017

Avifauna Odds and Sods

March 1-20 
Various Locations around the Lower Mainland BC Canada

Brydon Lagoon
Hooded Merganser
There has been a small flock of hooded mergansers at Brydon Pond most of the winter. Despite a major fish kill a few years back the pond has re-bounded quite well. While numbers of certain bird species are down, the lagoon is still a good wintering hole for Common goldeneye, hooded and common merganser, pied-bill grebe, glaucous-winged gulls, great-blue heron and a lone green heron.

The most serious threat to the pond is the recent over pruning around the edges and irresponsible dog owners allowing their muts to run amok. Only yesterday I had words with one dog guardian whose dog was chasing the ducks, his reply, he didn't think his dog will eat them (the ducks)
Same thing this morning, this time the owner leased his dog after I pointed out it had just nose dived into a red-winged blackbirds nest.
My wife picked up two garbage bags of garbage around the perimeter of the lagoon but the soiled doggie bags hanging in trees, that's inexcusable. Where's the bylaw officer when you need one!

Terra Nova
This mink has set up home at Terra Nova pond where food is plentiful.

West ham Island Delta
Bullock's Oriole nest from last year on River Rd, Ladner.
Why do Bullock's Oriole's use blue threads to build their nests? I searched for more info but found nothing really explaining the phenomenon. Below is a shot of a striking male Bullock's. The complementary colours of the nest and bird has always fascinated me.

Haynes Park Provincial Park Osoyoos 

I photographed this male Bullock's Oriole June 2014.
The Bullock's oriole (Icterus bullockii) is a small New World blackbird. At one time, this species and the Baltimore oriole were considered to be a single species, the northern oriole. This bird was named after William Bullock, an English amateur naturalist. (Wikipedia)

Nicomekl Floodplain
Bald Eagle
This pair of bald eagles at Brydon Park in Langley had just mated. The male seems quite proud of himself. All week they had been adding to their long time nest on the Nicomekl River floodplain. Finally I was able to shoot handheld with the Nikon D500 and Nikon 200mm-500mm through an opening in a tangle of branches. It is one of my favourite bald eagle shots.

Cheam Wetlands/East of Chilliwack
Trumpeter Swans
Last week I was out with the Langley Field Naturalists at Cheam Wetlands just east of Chilliwack. There was fresh snow on Mount Cheam and the cold air was spilling down the mountainside making for a cold day. The wetlands had the large numbers of ring-necked ducks, over one hundred trumpeter swans, hooded mergansers, hundreds of American wigeon and of course scads of Mallard. The woods however were quite uneventful with just a one hairy and downy and a few pine siskin. Nothing has budded and the forest plants seem weeks behind.

Brydon Lagoon
Common Goldeneye
This common goldeneye at Brydon Lagoon was trying to attract a female with a series of dramatic postures and antics that included neck stretching, wing beating and feet splashing.

White Rock/White Rock Pier
Black Turnstone at White Rock
I really believe that birding can be enjoyed in both a solitary and group fashion. It's one of the best ways to spend time outdoors and meet new people and gain deep understanding of the complexities that combine to make up the natural world. 

Black Spit Crescent Beach
One of my favourite spots to go and unwind is Blackie Spit in South Surrey. Over the years have had some really good birds there including solitary sandpipers, horned lark and on several occasions snow buntings.

Surrey Lake

Marsh wren.
Surrey Lake
Pied-billed grebe.
Westminster Hwy and Gibbons Drive, Richmond BC
Snow goose.

After a few weeks of relative inactivity I have been able to finally get out and bird.
No pressure, just birding around Langley and Surrey, a couple of trips to Brydon Lagoon and taking a birding pal friend to Richmond.

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

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