Friday, 29 February 2008

Vancouver - Birthday bash

Still shattered from the effects of jet lag but wasn't going to let this affect the Birthday boy!!
The first of two sessions today - a very quiet morning in Vancouver parks. Found a cracking female Anna's Hummingbird in Van Dusen Botanic garden

Downy Woodpeckers are pretty small and obliging - a male and female were seen in Queen Elizabeth park.

If there is water, American Wigeon seem to be wherever you go and usually scratching around in the undergrowth - Dark-eyed juncos!

For the afternoon, it was off to the Reifel nature reserve, north of Vancouver. This was pretty strong on wildfowl but there were plenty of other birds there too!

Wood Duck are incredible birds, Green-winged Teal and Bufflehead were the local specialities. Scaup and Pintail reminded me of home (not sure when I've seen quite so many Scaup though!) Think I know where I'd rather be right now!

Er, how about another American Wigeon - plenty of them here too!

How many birders drove the length and breadth of England to see a White-crowned Sparrow? I remember the Cley bird well - they were constantly underfoot here, with youngsters as well for comparison.

Golden-crowned Sparow were pretty cute too - the other guy is a Song Sparrow...

Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon was distant views of a 3000+ strong flock of Snow Geese. I waited patiently but didn't get the mass take off - just a few individuals moving around

Or maybe a Great-horned Owl? Neck aching stuff trying to get a picture of this bird, difficult to see from any other angle other than directly below!

Spotted Towhee and Red-winged Blackbird to follow and a Red-tailed Hawk (so reminiscent of a Common Buzzard), patiently waiting....

Two common local birds to finish off with - American Coot (Ok it is slightly different to ours) and Black-capped Chickadee (no alarm call needed with these calling outside my bedroom window!).

Back to alpine plants now until next Tuesday - see what Vancouver Island has to offer.....

New Birthday birds:

Hairy Woodpecker
Pine Siskin
Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Song Sparrow
Common Raven
Anna’s Hummingbird
Common Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Snow Goose
Trumpeter Swan
Brown creeper
Great-horned Owl
Northern Shoveler
American Coot
Greater Scaup
Marsh Wren
Red-tailed Hawk
Brewers Blackbird
House Sparrow
Wood Duck
Bush Tit

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