Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday at Burnaby Mountain and Colony Farm

    Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area

    This park is located below and to the west of SFU. There'd been some good reports coming from here during the week:
    • a Calliope Hummingbird was in the Cherry trees by the playground
    • Sooty Grouse were making their mating calls
    • Townsend's Warblers were seen
    I arrived at the Conservation area just below SFU early on this Sunday. The first bird I saw was a common one in an unusual location:

    Northwestern Crow - Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, Burnaby BC

    I ran into Floyd, a birding buddy I see fairly often in the field. We searched the Cherry trees to no avail. We made the hike up the Trans-Canada trail and heard Townsend's Warblers calling from deep in the forest, but we could not locate any visually.

    The only bird I did see was this Song Sparrow.

    Song Sparrow - Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, Burnaby BC

    We came back down to the parking area where some people were seeing Orange-crowned Warblers in the Cherry trees, but I could not see one to get a photo. Another birder named Daniel showed up and he had been at Colony Farm in Coquitlam. He said it was very birdy with Warblers and Flycatchers. He said it was too early for Lazuli Buntings there.

    Floyd and Daniel were going to hike up the hill again, I decided to head for Colony Farm instead.

    Colony Farm Regional Park

    Upon arrival I noticed a woman getting her camera our of her car. I asked her if she was a birder. She was, and we decided to look for some birds together.

    We searched the trees by the Forensic Institute and saw a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, but nothing like what Daniel had described. We crossed the road into an area near the community garden. A small bird caught my attention, i though it was a Cedar Waxwing at first, but then saw that it was a Flycatcher. It was sitting on a branch and then flying out to catch insects. 

    Flycatchers are notoriously hard to identify, but I eventually concluded it was a Western Wood-pewee. This was based on the call it occasionally made, and the colouring was not right for a Willow Flycatcher.

    Western Wood-pewee - Colony Farm Regional Park, Coquitlam BC - 2017 Bird #143

    This zoom shot with the Nikon shows the longer primary projection relative to the tail, a good indication my ID was correct.

    Western Wood-pewee - Colony Farm Regional Park, Coquitlam BC

    Suddenly there was a flash of yellow, black and red as a Western Tanager made a brief appearance. I only caught it as it flew away. 

    Western Tanager - Colony Farm Regional Park, Coquitlam BC - 2017 Bird #144

    This photo was heavily cropped on the computer.
    Western Tanager - Colony Farm Regional Park, Coquitlam BC

    The last bird I saw was a Tree Swallow.

    Tree Swallow - Colony Farm Regional Park, Coquitlam BC

    I called it a day just before noon. I'd be back to Colony the following weekend to see what else had arrived by then.

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