Aldergrove Lake Park
The warm spring weather has been a welcome change. Even June has been kind, not too hot nor too cold. The winter boots, toque and hand warmers long put away, the coffee flask exchanged for a bottle of water. The smell of new growth in the air is intoxicating. Eastern Cottontails scurry along the trails. There's a plentiful banquet for all the creatures of the forest. At the Aldergrove Park Bowl a colony of Savannah Sparrow hatchlings can be heard, soon fledglings will be appear, climbing the long grass in search of insects and seeds.
|Adult Savannah Sparrow|
The same cannot be said for an adjoining portions of the park that have already been hayed and where dozens of Savannahs can be seen 're-nesting' or perhaps salvaging nests that weren't destroyed by the bailer. A park representatives I spoke to told me a new contract is being put in place so that haying is held-off in future seasons, good news the birds. Wardens in the park are also aware of ground nesters along the trails, especially Song Sparrows. Now if only the dog walkers would keep their animals on lease and pick up their poop, life would be perfect.
|The Aldergrove Bowl|
iPhone 8 HDR
The winter chattering of Pacific Wren and the delicate whispering of Golden-crowned Kinglets has been replaced by the Western Tanager and Black-headed Grosbeak, meanwhile the orchestral leader and beautiful songster, the Swainson's Thrush can be heard on every trail. Sometimes referred to as the 'Salmonberry bird' their arrival coincides with the first ripening ruby coloured berries.
I could listen the trumpeting sound of the little brown thrush all day long. Hours go by and I realize half a day has passed and I have left my lunch in the car. Thank goodness for the bottle of water and sunscreen, meanwhile a melted snack bar will have to make do.
On a photographic note I have dispensed with a big lens and tripod and now carry a DSLR and small 500mm F 5.6 lens held on my chest with a Cotton Carrier. I can walk all day, my hands free to use my bins to quickly observe birds and make sound recordings. Everything fits in a small bag. This set-up has radically changed the way I photograph and bird. I am now recording some of my favourite images. The only downside of the long fixed lens are the landscape shots which I need to illustrate my photo stories, for those I use my iPhone as seen in this blog and other posts.
|Salmonberry in various stages of ripening.|
A pair of Townsend's Warblers dance around the forest canopy gleaning insects. It's understandable why they venture north each summer, the forest is it crawling with emerging insects and for the next few months, an inexhaustible supply of nutritious food.
Most Townsend Warblers are migratory to British Columbia, with different populations of the species wintering in two separate areas. Some Townsend's Warblers winter along the West Coast from Oregon south to Mexico's Baja Peninsula, while others move further south to the highlands of central Mexico and Central America (American Bird Conservancy)
|Immature American Bullfrog in Pepin Brook. I had originally |
posted it as a Red-legged Frog.
I heard a rustle in the bushes and slowly turned around to catch a Douglas Squirrel munching on some fresh plant material. I watched for several minutes until the little critter caught sight of me.Within seconds it was gone. Taking time to pause and listen to the birds has plenty of benefits.
|Smile for the camera.|
Good morning John and thank you for another lovely post to start the day off with! Just noted that the frog you photographed is a juvenile bullfrog not a Northern Red-legged Frog. I've confused the two, especially at juvenile stage. This post was a great reminder that I haven't been to Aldergrove Regional Park in ages and it's time to go for a visit!ReplyDelete
Pamela Zevit RPBio
Thanks for your kind words. The park warden showed me the frog and I was just following her identification. However, I will change the ID. Thanks for the feedback and for pointing out my error.ReplyDelete
Hi John beautiful photos as usual always a pleasure to stop in and read your blog. This is a lovely place to bird and wish I went more.ReplyDelete