Thursday 27 April 2017

I hadn't Planned on Birding #356

April 23-26 Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC

I hadn't planned on birding, there was a lawn to be limed, a pond to be cleaned and a myriad of other garden chores to be taken care of. However with good birds arriving daily the urge to grab the bins proved just too strong.
As for the garden I think i'll leave it for the birds, at least for now. The White-crowned Sparrows seem to enjoy scratching about in the vine maple leaves and the House Finches are nesting in the cedar bush. The hundreds of Bluebells carpeting the pathways make a perfect highway for a small flock Yellow-crowned Sparrows that have recently found the seeds set out each morning. A pair of Eurasian coloured Doves have moved into the neighbourhood and a single Rock Pigeon has been visiting. Mostly, we have a flock of homeless House Sparrows that have recently lost their roost to the bulldozer.


These two Brown Creepers, one which may be the female led me a merry chase.

Brown Creeper

Richmond Park East
Black-throated Gray Warbler.

Queen Elizabeth Park Vancouver

The cherry trees are in full bloom at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park. One tree held a Townsend's, a few Yellow-rumped and two Black-throated Gray Warblers. The tree was close to a pathway and on a very busy Sunday afternoon, the constant foot traffic kept flushing the birds. I managed three frames in an hour, the above shot the best of the three.


A few days later I returned. There was no problem finding the Nashville Warbler which had been seen by many, it was as simple as spotting a group of birders, their necks locked into the upwards position.

Long-time birders will tell you that in years past the trees once to 'dripped' with warblers. On a good spring day, a fallout would deposit hundreds of warblers, vireos and flycatchers into the park.

On this particular day we had one Yellow-rumped and one Nashville Warbler, a Hammond's Flycatcher and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Something is in the air and it isn't birds!

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler.

Hermit Thrush at the QE duck pond.

Burnaby Mountain

 The booming mating call of the sooty grouse could be heard from the car park. Earlier in the day the bird had been on the ground displaying. Now it was sixty feet off the ground. A dark silhouette high up in a fir tree. I had to overexpose to get some detail in the bird and considering how far I am away I am continuously surprised how good the Nikon D500 couple with the Nikon 200mm-500mm is handheld.

Full Frame shot at 500mm handheld without crop

Cropped Image in Lightroom

Sooty Grouse.

It was time to make the drive home but one more bird high up in a tree gave itself away.
The grosbeak was a way off so I just took an ID shot to make sure. Another year bird and the third of the day. 

Full Frame Shot

Cropped Shot

Female Evening Grosbeak.
Pretty amazing what you can squeeze out of modern cameras and lenses these days and how much joy it gives to so many.

"It's never to late to start birding"

John Gordon
BC Canada

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