Sunday, April 30, 2017

Finishing off April

April 27 - Burns Bog Walk

This post deals with the tail end of April 2017. Most of the the photos were taken on Sunday April 30th, but a few deal with the week before.

On Thursday April 27th I took a quick walk on the Burns Bog boardwalk, which is close to where I live. I've had some luck on this path, but today was more typical of most of my outings in the bog.

My best experiences have occurred at the point in the boardwalk where I'm as far west as possible, closest to Highway 91. On this day the I only saw a couple of common species. I can always attract a Song Sparrow at this location with some pish-pish calls.

Song Sparrow - Burns Bog, Delta BC - April 2017

Another bird was further along on the trail, an American Goldfinch.

American Goldfinch- Burns Bog, Delta BC - April 2017

I didn't see any other birds on this walk. I took some photos of this attractive bog flower, which I've been unable to identify.

April 29 - Belmont Golf Course

Quite often on the weekends, I play at this golf course in the Walnut Grove area of Langley  I try to bring a camera, but on this day I only had my IPhone.

The course always has a good population of Canada Geese. While putting on the 10th green, I noticed a different looking goose in with the Canada's. I took a few IPhone pictures and captured this Greater White-fronted Goose (on the right).

Greater White-fronted Goose - Belmont Golf Course, Langley BC - 2017 Bird #138

A bit later in the round a Stellar's Jay flew over, it was 2017 Species #139. I did not get a photo and have not done so yet in 2017 at the time of this post.

April 30 Part 1 - Wild Hummingbird Chase

Some earlier posts in April detailed visits to the Richmond Nature Park, where I'd taken some photos of local hummingbirds, along with common finches, nuthatches and sparrows. Suddenly there were reports of a rare Black-chinned Hummingbird at this location.

This hummingbird is commonly seen in the American Southwest, and sometime creep up into the Okanagan. I'd seen the bird in Arizona in 2008, so this was not a lifer chase.

I showed up on the Sunday morning, and was not surprised to see a good number of photographers present. On my earlier visits there were one or two including myself at this location.

Before the rarity showed up, a few of our common hummingbirds appeared.

Rufous Hummingbird - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC

Also on site was our common Anna's Hummingbird.

Anna's Hummingbird - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC

Next up was a female Rufous with her long tongue protruding :

Rufous Hummingbird (F) - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC

Finally the bird everyone was looking for showed up:

I've left this uncaptioned as it was revealed about a week later that this bird was a hybrid between an Anna's and Black-chinned Hummingbird. Although very interesting, and very attractive, it is not countable as a member of either species. The folks that run the local Bird alerts contacted a Hummingbird expert in California who confirmed the hybrid. They also referred this to David Sibley, he of the Sibley Field Guide to Birds, who confirmed the Hybrid hypothesis. So a bird went briefly on my 2017 list, and then came off. I felt fortunate to see and get an excellent shot of this rare hybrid.

Since I was onsite, I captured some nice shots of birds I'd seen at this location on earlier visits.

Red-breasted Nuthatch - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC

Purple Finch (F)  - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC

Queen Elizabeth Park

Atter Richmond, I headed North to Queen Elizabeth Park, where spring migration was producing a few unusual birds. Unluckily for me, I was never able to see some of the rarer birds such as Nashville Warbler and Olive-sided Flycatcher.

I did have some luck on this day with one of the more common migrants.

Just below the "Seasons in the Park" Restaurant is an excellent place to look for these migrants. Here's a view looking up at the restaurant:

Just off the parking area I spotted some movement and with some pishing calls was able to produce some Orange-crowned Warblers.

Orange-crowned Warbler - Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC - April 2017 - 2017 Bird #140

Our version of this warbler is more colourful than the one seen in the East, a nice change as they see much greater diversity in Warbler species than we do out here.

Orange-crowned Warbler - Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC - April 2017

Also in the same area was another familiar Warbler:

Yellow-rumped Warbler - Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC - April 2017

Down below near the Duck Pond, I saw more Orange-crowned Warblers, and also this Kinglet:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC - April 2017

On the duck pond were a pair of Gadwall Ducks, quickly becoming my favourite Dabbling ducks.

Gadwall - Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC - April 2017

Finally, a good shot of the Gadwall female:

Gadwall (F) - Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC - April 2017

This was the end of April. The next month's birding would be spotty due to continuing bad weather. It's detailed in subsequent posts.

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