UBC: October 20th 2009

I was at the University of British Columbia on Tuesday and so I decided to check out UBC Farm as well as Cecil Green; two places I haven’t been birding before.

At UBC Farm I took the trail that follows the edge of the fields and winds through a section of forest on the northwest side of the property. I had a pleasant walk and spotted several common species including: Red-breasted Sapsucker, Varied Thrush, Winter Wren, Fox Sparrow, and Golden-crowned Sparrow. Nature Vancouver runs a bird survey every third Sunday of each month; this seems like a good opportunity to see more species of birds than one could see on their own.

It’s hard to believe that the farm faces an uncertain future but it is “threatened with being shrunk in size or moved to agriculturally unviable soils” to make room for more housing. You can find out more about future plans for the farm and the surrounding area at the South Campus Academic Plan website. I find it interesting that the plan talks about the farm leading “in the creation of new paradigms for sustainable and healthy communities”. It’s hard not to miss all of the construction going on in the area of the farm and I wonder what part of cutting down forest and building apartments, condos, and roads is actually sustainable.

After the farm I went to Cecil Green Park; the same place where a Lark Bunting was seen on October 11th and 12th. There was no sign of the Lark Bunting but there were two Snow Geese (an adult and a juvenile) resting on the grass behind the Museum of Anthropology. The brush on the cliff side of the area had a number of Dark-eyed Juncos, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, and a single Fox Sparrow.

I spent a great couple of hours birding; it was a welcome interruption to the school week.

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