Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Birding @ Campbell Valley Park

The morning started off quite wet but by the time I was ready to go, the clouds had parted and the sun was peaking through. Hopeful of a Western Tanager sighting, off I went to Campbell Valley Park ~ a short 20 minute drive from my home, in Cloverdale, British Columbia.

Campbell Valley Park is located between the Mighty Fraser River and the Canada/US border and offers many trails, including the ‘Little River Loop’ Trail (consisting of meadows and forest), the ‘Ravine’ Trail, and the ‘Shaggy Mane’ Trail (which forms the perimeter of the park). On this day, the trails were peppered with young horseback riders; visitors from the nearby Campbell Valley Equestrian Society, situated on the western-most side of the park.

Sadly, my pictures were somewhat disappointing as most of the birds remained at the tree tops. Once again, I’m reminded of the fact that I should invest in a decent scope. Although I heard the Western Tanager, I didn’t see him.

Bird Checklist:
- Western Meadowlarks
- Song Sparrows
- Spotted Towhees
- American Robins
- Bushtits
- Violet-Green Swallows
- Black-Capped Chickadees
- Red-Winged Blackbirds
- House Finches
- American Crows

There were a few songs I didn’t recognize but I failed to locate their creators amongst the trees.

Oddly, once I returned home, the backyard was bustling with life. A (male) red-winged blackbird was feeding his fledgling, while finches, sparrows and starlings fed from the tube feeders. There was a chickadee on the Instafeeder and a lovely Rufous Hummingbird zipping around the garden, from petunia to petunia.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Birding @ Boundary Bay

Boundary Bay Regional Park offers outstanding bird viewing opportunities. The park is located on the western shore of Boundary Bay within the Fraser River Estuary, one of Canada’s most important ecosystems for migrating and wintering birds. This area is internationally significant and is designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA).

Each year, Boundary Bay is used by 1.5 million birds from 20 countries. Fifty species of shorebirds and day counts of more than 100,000 waterfowl have been recorded. Birds and other wildlife depend on critical habitat in Boundary Bay, including salt and fresh water marshes, tidal mudflats, grassland, sand dunes and sandy shoreline.

Bird Checklist :
- Great Blue Heron
- Bald Eagle
- Savannah Sparrow
- Red-Winged Blackbird
- Black Capped Chickadee
- American Pipit
- Cedar Waxwing
- American Crow
- Mew Gull
- Heermann’s Gull
- Virginia Rail
- Mallard Duck
- Spotted Towhee
- Red-Tailed Hawk
- Tree Swallow
- Violet-green Swallow
- Barn Swallow
- Bushtit
- Bewick’s Wren
- Cooper’s Hawk
- Turkey Vulture
- Osprey

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Big Day for Birding : Reifel Bird Sanctuary

It was a glorious day in Vancouver, British Columbia…just perfect for birding at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island. I’ve been to the Sanctuary many times but, I must say, after spending some time reading “tweets” on Twitter, reading Birding Blogs, and viewing Twitpics posted by serious birders from all over the world, I felt inspired. I was just itching to get out there and see what I could find.

First thing I did was acquire a new lens kit for my digital camera (a Canon Powershot G7). Second; replace my existing birding book with “real” bird field guides, to help me identify the birds I see.

Today, I was so much more aware of my surroundings and the beautiful sounds that filled the waters, trees, marshes, and meadows of the Sanctuary. I saw a gorgeous Wood Duck, Waxwings (which are, by the way, hard to photograph), many Barn Swallows, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Ducks with ducklings, (Canada) Geese with Goslings, Sandpipers, Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, and a young Sandhill Crane. Here are just a few of the images from the trip.

Westham Marsh:

Mallard Ducklings:

Wood Duck:

Canada Goose:

Mallard Duck:

Red-Winged Blackbird:



Barn Swallow:

Sandhill Crane

Cedar Waxwing: