Sunday, April 11, 2010

Signs of Spring: Part Three

Today, we decided to visit Elgin Heritage Park in South Surrey. This park is very close to Crescent Beach and Blackie Spit, where I conduct my weekly area bird counts for e-bird.

This gem banks the Nicomekl River and offers both extensive tidal flats, forested area, as well as marshlands lined with nesting boxes.

Many birds and waterfowl call the Elgin Heritage Park home....including this handsome Golden-crowned Sparrow...

This time, I caught the tide all the way the Black-bellied Plovers I had seen here earlier in the week, were gone. I did, however, manage to arrive at the pond just as a flock of Dowitchers were coming in for a landing....

The last time I was here, these Dowitchers were napping. I sat on a log for over 25 minutes waiting for them to wake. Here's a photo I took then...

This time, all of them were lively and hungry. It was my lucky day!

I find it quite challenging to photograph these shorebirds when they're feeding. At any given moment, they could all resemble the one Dowitcher shown on the bottom right of this photo ~ with his head completely submerged. I have approx. 20 photos with nothing but Dowitcher torsos.

This one was chirpin'....

At the other end of the pond was a single Canada Goose. This is the first time I've ever seen one all alone. The park is not going to get any chicks at this rate!

We saw Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks, Pacific Loons, Green-winged Teals, American Wigeons, and Northern Shovelers...

One landmark that makes this park unique is this "House", dedicated to the Barn Owl.

Naturally, I've never seen him...

The view from the Marsh was absolutely stunning on this gorgeous Spring day. You can see the snow-capped North Shore Mountains in the background...

The park offers plenty of plant life...most of which were in full bloom, thanks to a mild winter.

I noticed the Black-capped Chickadees were carting off 'fluff' from these cattails, for their nests.

The landscape offered plenty of color. I could hear hummingbirds here...

Normally, I would visit the park alone, but I was thrilled when my boys wanted to come along. My oldest [he's 8] even brought his binoculars, a notebook, a ballpoint, and a Sibley's Field Guide. I will make a birdwatcher out of him yet!

Later in the week, I plan to return, after I've consulted the tide chart. I wonder who will show up this time....

For more information about this Historic Park, visit HERE


  1. Thanks very much, Robbie. It really is a lovely park. I can't wait to return :)

  2. Loveley pictures, We don't have golden crowned sparrows or long billed Dowitchers here.

  3. Great photos Kim; I think its fun when my kids actually ask me what bird is that? or Can I come birding with you? and I realize they are truly interested and not just humoring me. Looks like a great day


  4. Just beautiful! What a lovely park.

  5. Looks like a great place to visit. Lovin' those Dowitchers. I haven't seen one yet. You hit the jackpot!

  6. Fantastic photog & post, Kimberley! Fantastic birding & nature spot! I really liked the Golden-crowned Sparrow...wonderful captures!