Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Lost Lagoon

The Lost Lagoon, Vancouver
Only a short two minute walk from our apartment lies 'The Lost Lagoon', a 41 acre body of water near the entrance to Stanley Park. The lagoon is occasionally used as a safe haven for migrating birds that use the migratory route known as 'The Pacific Highway', a major north/south route of travel extending from Alaska to Patagonia.

The lagoon is full of small islands and marshy grasses, bulrushes along the edge of the lagoon make a protective cover and nesting areas for various species. Kind of like their own security system to protect their nests from the other wildlife you’ll find in Vancouver like Coyotes and Raccoons.

I thought I'd take the opportunity over the coming few weeks to make the lagoon my home patch so to speak and make regular visits, after all it's spring here too come the weekend and migration has already started.

Spotted Towhee
Today's weather has been quite rainy as per usual, but during my walk the rain eased sufficiently for me to have a good exploration of the lagoon. As with my previous visits the first thing you notice is the place is simply alive with wildlife! Both Chestnut-backed and Black-capped Chickadee's are in good numbers and are amongst the most friendliest species I've ever come across. If you extend your empty hand they will even land on it in complete confidence!

The lagoon itself contained good numbers of Lesser Scaup, American Wigeon, several Common Merganser, Common Goldeneye, 3 Barrow's Goldeneye, 3 Wood Duck and 2 Ringed Neck duck. This being my 3rd visit since arriving I was pleased to connect with my first Canvasback, a very flighty male out near the centre.

Curious Little Chap!
The surrounding habitat was alive throughout my walk with many Song Sparrow, which have a really gorgeous melodic song, Spotted Towhee, which seem to enjoy skulking within the undergrowth, and lots of American Robin, a lone Red-winged Blackbird was also recorded. On the southern side of the lagoon Golden-crowned Kinglet, Pacific Wren, Brown Creeper, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Fox Sparrow were all noted.

One particular species of note that I found staring up at me as I crossed one the small wooden bridges was a Raccoon. Be forewarned if you ever visit, there is a maximum $5000 penalty if you are caught feeding wildlife in this park. Having said that, many visitors and regulars have for years fed these docile creatures so they have no fear of humans as many of these species do in the wild, they in fact will come right up to most hikers throughout the park to the delight of many who have never seen these elusive night crawlers.