Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stanley Park

Stanley Park From The Air
Birding has taken a back seat over the last few days while I nurse the wife back to good health, but I have managed a couple of visits locally to Stanley Park and the surrounding seafront. Vancouver is just that sort of City, no matter where you are, within minutes you can be amongst the wildlife.

Yesterday I started with a leisurely walk around Lost Lagoon before moving on to Beaver Lake. The usual suspects were around, Spotted Towhee, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junko, Chickadee's and the Song Sparrows were in good voice. I sat for a while watching a very noisy pair of Stella's Jay but never quite managed to see what all the fuss was about. A couple of Bald Eagle were enjoying a thermal and at the other end of the scale, a very brief visit of Anna's Hummingbird to the blooming Redcurrant. The Lagoon itself held around 50 or so Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, ♀Common Merganser and a pair of Barrow's Goldeneye. Looks like the Canadian Mute Swan population is about to increase too, as 3 nesting birds are already in residence.

Map of Stanley Park
Beaver Lake was alive around the perimeter and I lost count of the numbers of Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, one very flighty Hutton's Vireo and at least another 6 Yellow-rumped Warbler were also seen. As I sat watching a gorgeous looking pair of Wood Duck a Coopers Hawk flashed through. Finally, the Swallows have begun to arrive in the City area, having been around for at least a fortnight further down the coast, with both Tree Swallow and Violet-green Swallow swooping low across the water.

This evening I managed a two hour walk along the seafront, starting at English Bay and walking around to the Burrard Inlet. As a birder I always have to pinch myself when I get back to the apartment and check my notes when I've walked this stretch. It reads like a who's who of waterfowl which would keep any British birder happy for months. Lesser and Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Harlequin Duck, Surf Scoter, Barrow's Goldeneye, Common Goldeneye, American Wigeon, Red Breasted, Common and Hooded Merganser, summer plumage Red Necked Grebe and Common Loon. There going to have to drag me screaming back to the UK come Saturday!