Tuesday, June 20, 2017

North Vancouver Afternoon Birding

It was time for my semi-annual weekday visit to North Vancouver for a dental appointment. I always try to leave work early and make a stop at Lonsdale Quay before going up Lonsdale for my appointment.

I made good time on this day and was able to park nearby and walk down to the quay.

Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver BC

My first goal is to see one or more Pigeon Guillemots. They nest under the Quay in early spring. This appointment was later in the year, but my luck held.

Close to the pier was a pair of them. The lead bird had captured what may have been a shrimp. The second one wanted a share.

Pigeon Guillemot - Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver BC - 2017 Bird #166

Here's a close-up of the lead bird, I don't know if the trailer (possibly a mate or offspring) was rewarded on not.

Pigeon Guillemot - Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver BC - 2017 Bird #166

Another common bird in Burrard Inlet is the Pelagic Cormorant. The best place to see them in numbers is Granville Island. Here's a solitary specimen.

Pelagic Cormorant - Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver BC

I got one more shot of a Guillemot further out on the Quay.

Pigeon Guillemot - Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver BC

Across the bay from me was a large blue barge. I noticed Gulls flying near it, and then saw that they were casting shadows on the barge. It took me a while, but I eventually got a shot. I believe these were Glaucous-winged Gulls.

As I was returning to my car, I caught sight of a Rock Pigeon taking off from a ledge on an apartment building.

Rock Pigeon - near Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver BC

My dental appointment went quite late and I was stuck in rush hour traffic. I needed some gas, so I decided to head towards Deep Cove, get gas and visit Maplewood Conservation Area until the traffic thinned.

It was a hot afternoon and there was little bird activity. I did encounter this Robin on the trail.

American Robin - Maplewood Conservation Area, North Vancouver BC

Another common bird seen was a Great Blue Heron on the shoreline of Burrard Inlet.

Great Blue Heron - Maplewood Conservation Area, North Vancouver BC

On my walk around the trails I did hear some Warbling Vireos, but could not locate them visually. I saw many Swallowtail Butterflies, but the Nikon is not too good at catching moving objects. I'd left my Canon SLR at home. I did get a photo of a Swallowtail in Alberta, stay tuned for a series of posts on that trip.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Juvenile Weekend

If you're a fan of cute young birds, this post is for you. This was my first weekend outing since returning from the Okanagan in early June. That excursion is detailed here: Okanagan Birding 2017

On Saturday the 17th I played golf at Belmont Golf Course in Langley. There's a healthy population of Canada Geese on the course all year. At this time of the year there's a cross-section of Goslings at various stages of development.

Canada Geese - Belmont Golf Course, Langley BC

These geese are molting and are probably unable to fly at this stage, so they stay close to the water.

Canada Geese - Belmont Golf Course, Langley BC

The next day I was off to Reifel to meet up with the person who runs a bird photo site where I post some of my better photos. The site is named BirdViewing.com and it was based out of Montreal. Chris, the creator of the site, has recently relocated to Richmond, so I finally got to meet him.

The theme at Reifel was youngsters as well. Here are some younger Canada Geese.

Canada Geese (Imm) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Probably the cutest bird of the day was this single Wood Duck chick. I did a bit of research and the hens lay up to a dozen eggs, so I'm not sure why this female only had the one chick. Perhaps it was the runt and the siblings were on their own already.

Wood Duck (F) and (Imm) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

I had to post more than one photo of these two.

Wood Duck (Imm) and (F) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Since it was Father's Day, I got a nice shot of a male, maybe the dad of the chick...

Wood Duck - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Of course the Mallards are famous for having many offspring and they soon learn that Reifel is a safe place to approach humans.

Mallards (F) and (Imm) - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Over on the West Dyke trail there were different species of Swallows buzzing around catching insects on the fly to feed to their young. This Tree Swallow looks close to fledging, but is still hoping for free meals at this point in time.

Tree Swallow - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

Purple Martins have family life nailed.  Here's a shot from long distance,  The male is the dark blue bird, with possibly a female on its left. The other three all look like recently fledged chicks.

Purple Martins - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC

My last bird of the day was a singing male Marsh Wren. This video was taken from 50+ meters with the Nikon zoomed out.

It's my first sighting of this species for the year. I'd heard them in other places, but was reluctant to add it to my 2017 list until I'd had either a good look at one, or a reasonable photo.

Marsh Wren - Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta BC - 2017 Bird #165

That ended this day's outing.