On Sunday a report of a Brambling came in from a backyard in Vancouver’s Fairview neighbourhood. See the BC Bird Alert page for details on the exact location. Normally I don’t like chasing birds reported in backyards because I feel a little weird walking around people’s houses staring into their backyards with binoculars. On Monday (January 7th 2013), however, I was planning on going to nearby Queen Elizabeth Park for my fourth attempt at locating some Pine Grosbeaks so I decided to swing by and try see the bird.
Thankfully I arrived on scene at the same time as some other birders, so I didn’t feel that uncomfortable staring intently at the bushes in someone’s backyard seeing as there were about six other people doing the same! The house where the Brambling had been seen had several bird feeders as well as some dense bushes in the backyard; it was here that the homeowner first reported the bird and other birders had seen it on Sunday. My initial scans found that the bushes held a number of House Finches and Houses Sparrows, as well as a couple of Song Sparrows and a Fox Sparrow, but no Brambling. The other birders and I would have to wait about twenty minutes before the bird made a spectacular entrance flying into the bushes and perching in full view.
The Brambling continued to move about in the bushes giving some great views for the remaining twenty minutes that I stuck around for. My shoddy iPhone photos don’t do the bird justice as it is truly a handsome specimen. My visit to Queen Elizabeth Park also netted me four Pine Grosbeaks, another great looking bird! It was a nice way to cap the day off.