With a Redhead reported from Devonian Harbour Park earlier in the week I naturally decided to head over there, and to nearby Stanley Park, on the first rain free day of the week; Thursday (see here for an excellent photo of this individual). Redhead are locally uncommon around Vancouver and this species would be a new addition to my Stanley Park patch list. Despite my best efforts I could not relocate the bird. I went back on Friday and was equally unlucky. To my knowledge the bird hasn’t been seen since Tuesday (February 5th). Lesson learned: a decent bird is well worth getting a little wet for!
Despite dipping on the Redhead I still had two days of good birding in the park. On Thursday I had some nice views of the three Greater White-fronted Geese that have been hanging around the rose garden this winter. The last time I saw these birds one of them appeared to have a bit of an injured right wing. Assuming these are the same individuals, then it looks as though that bird is back to full health as all three geese seemed to be doing well.
On Friday I took Ravine Trail from Beaver Lake to the seawall. This trail is a short walk following Beaver Creek to the seawall at the creek’s mouth. There was just a small group of Barrow’s Goldeneye diving off shore but looking towards the Lion’s Gate Bridge I spotted three North American River Otters. Two of them were swimming away from me but one stayed close enough for some record shots. It’s always nice seeing otters, especially so close to the harbour and all the industrial activity associated with it.
Published February 2, 2013
Tags: Beaver Lake, birding, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Lost Lagoon, nature, Red Crossbill, Stanley Park, vancouver
I decided to take another walk at Stanley Park yesterday afternoon. The weather was quite nice today, as far as winter goes, with some sun and a temperature of around eight degrees. It turned into a good opportunity to get some close up shots of the regular sparrows and other smaller birds. I spent a decent amount of time at the west end of Lost Lagoon in the vicinity of the stone bridge. There’s always a solid congregation of smaller birds around this spot during the winter.
From the stone bridge I turned north and walked through the forested trails to Beaver Lake. Bird activity in this part of the park is generally quiet during the winter but it’s always nice taking a walk through such beautiful forest so close to the downtown core!
There were several groups of Pine Siskins and Red Crossbills feeding on the cones high up in the treetops throughout the section of forest I walked through.
When I got to Beaver Lake I spent most of my time photographing the birds around the wooden bridge at the northwest corner of the lake. The birds are accustomed to being fed at this spot it seems and will come in for a closer look anytime someone stops by. The Chestnut-backed Chickadees are particularly adept at mobbing visitors for a meal.
It was definitely a great day to be outdoors!
The weather forecast for yesterday was originally calling for rain all day, but luckily the rain held off and it was just cloudy. I decided to take a walk around Lost Lagoon with a stop off at second Beach in the afternoon. Here’s a quick video I shot showing some of the birds I saw at Second Beach:
Also of note was a Virginia Rail at the marsh in the north east corner of the lagoon. The bird wasn’t nearly as photogenic as the last time I saw him or her (assuming it’s the same individual), but I did at least get a record shot!
I decided to take another walk at Stanley Park for the second day in a row this afternoon. In particular I hoped to relocate at least one Greater White-fronted Goose that had been reported there on Sunday. Plus it would give me another opportunity to play around with my camera. Stanley Park is a great place for bird photography in my opinion as many of the birds are used to the presence of people and one can get quite close to a lot of them. On my way to Beaver Lake I passed through the rose garden and it was here that I found three Greater White-fronted Geese feeding on the grass with the ever present Canada Geese. They were a bit more wary than the Canada’s but still obliged for a couple of photos.
The bird in the above picture appeared to have some damage to the feathers on its right wing. It would also frequently tuck its right leg underneath the wing and feed on the grass around it while standing on one foot. The other two birds appeared quite healthy; perhaps they were keeping the injured bird company while it healed. Hopefully he or she will be back to full health soon!