Stanley Park monthly bird count (September 2016)

Green-winged Teal (female)

Green-winged Teal (female) | Sarcelle à ailes vertes | Anas carolinensis or Anas crecca caroliensis

After a lengthy absence from my blog, I felt like posting a few pictures taken during Stanley Park Ecology Society‘s most recent monthly bird count, which took place last weekend, on September 11, 2016 and was led by Else Mikkelsen.

We saw a number of interesting birds, but the most interesting for me was seeing (and hearing!!!) a pair of kingfishers up close and personal at the northwest corner of the Lost Lagoon, near the lagoon’s tributary. I captured only a marginally acceptable shot of the male, but I have posted it here nonetheless. We were also lucky enough to get some good views of Gadwalls, Green-winged Teals and Wood Ducks, not to mention a few migrating birds such as a Warbling Vireo and Yellow Warbler (the latter is not 100% certain, but I’m fairly confident that this is what I saw).

But the strangest thing that happened as we began our walk was that we got a very good and long look at a bat as it flew on the lagoon in broad daylight to hunt insects. Unfortunately, this may also indicate that this individual had rabies, as it is highly exceedingly rare for most bats to be so active after the sun has fully risen. Let’s hope that it only was temporarily confused! I’ve included a photo of the bat, even though it isn’t very sharp.

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Avian cornucopia (part 1)!

The past couple of weeks have been quite interesting for me when it comes to capturing certain elusive species on camera. Perhaps the mild winter here, combined with the harsh conditions elsewhere, have pushed a larger number of birds than usual in our region. Or maybe I just forget each winter that there comes a time when we simply see a large quantity of birds in the Lower Mainland. Be that as it may, I have been fortunate to get some decent (not great, but good) photos of several small (and one very large) species.

My faithful readers have already seen some photos of one of the biggest (Bald Eagle – here), one of the smallest (Anna’s Hummingbird – here and here) and one of the most penguin-like (Pigeon Guillemot – here) birds in this part of the world, but I recorded a few other birds along the way and would like to share a few of these shots with you today.

This first shot is of one of my favourite passerines in British Columbia, the Varied Thrush (en français : Grive variable | Scientific name: Ixoreus naevius):

University of British Columbia (near Theology Mall) | January 27, 2014

University of British Columbia (near Theology Mall) | January 27, 2014

The next shot is of a bird that can be very difficult to get on film in this area because it is normally found close to the top of our very tall trees: The Ruby-crowned Kinglet (en français : Roitelet à couronne rubis | Scientific name: Regulus calendula). But this one agreed to hang around my camera just long enough for me to take a few pictures, including this one:

Mosquito Creek Park (North Vancouver, BC) | January 29, 2014

Mosquito Creek Park (North Vancouver, BC) | January 29, 2014

And here is its close cousin, the Golden-crowned Kinglet (en français : Roitelet à couronne dorée | Scientific name: Regulus satrapa):

Mosquito Creek Park (North Vancouver, BC) | January 26, 2014

Mosquito Creek Park (North Vancouver, BC) | January 26, 2014

The following bird might be hard to spot at first because it blends so well in the tree trunks that it creeps along in other to find a prodigious amount of insects, namely the Brown Creeper (en français : Grimpereau brun | Scientific name: Certhia americana):

UBC Vancouver (near the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) | January 27, 2014

UBC Vancouver (near the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts) | January 27, 2014

I was also managed to capture a few Bushtits (en français : Mésange buissonnière | Scientific name: Psaltriparus minimus) in action, descending upon a few trees in flocks of 30-50 birds busily eating whatever they can find:

University of British Columbia (near Theology Mall) | January 27, 2014

University of British Columbia (near Theology Mall) | January 27, 2014

And finally, here is a bird that is barely bigger than the previously mentioned hummingbird, the Pacific Wren (en français : Troglodyte du Pacifique | Scientific name: Troglodytes pacific us), which makes up for it diminutive size by having an impressive call and song that make it sound much bigger than it is:

University of British Columbia (in front of the Asian Centre) | January 27, 2014

University of British Columbia (in front of the Asian Centre) | January 27, 2014

As the title suggests, I will publish a second posting with a few more photos. Please visit my blog on Tuesday morning…