So, after more than 2 months without much rain – or clouds, for that matter – on the “Wet Coast,” I guess we were due for a bit of rain. Having said that, this morning’s bird count in Stanley Park was a an unusually soggy affair. Still, we saw many more birds than we expected, even though our walk had to be cut short due to the weather!
As you may already know, I volunteer regularly for this monthly event organized by the Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES). Aside from allowing all participants to appreciate the wonder of having such a splendid natural area minutes from downtown Vancouver, having more that five year’s worth of consistent data from this count allows SPES to obtain highly reliable measures of how the park’s bird population is doing. Kudos once again to our fearless leader, SPES’s conservation officer Robyn Worcester. The full tally of our bird count will be found here when it is available.
The big highlight for me this time around was the Barred Owl that was sitting on a tree branch, right next to a fairly busy walking path – in fact, the two pictures below were taken about two hours after we first saw it! Although this bird hangs out close to our home and even though I had already heard its unmistakable song out east (in the Laurentians, north of Montreal, in Quebec), I had yet to see one, let alone so clearly in broad daylight! We were also pleased to see a good number of songbirds in spite of the rain, including several Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets close to the ground – in the summer, they are high up in the trees and quite difficult to observe.
I have included a few pictures of the birds we saw on this day. BTW, the bird with the “Harriet the Hybrid” caption is a female duck that has been present in Stanley Park for at two years and seems to be a cross between a Mallard and a domestic duck. Since this name is not yet been officially adopted, however, I would appeal to your imagination to propose alternative names for this lovely bird. And please admire the amazing green webbed feet of the American Coot… they really are quite impressive!
I would like to once again to thank SPES and especially Robyn for holding this event every month since 2006. It is highly appreciated by all participants. To find out more about SPES, its mission and activities and of course about Stanley Park, go to: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/
See you in November, if all goes as planned!