October 2016 Stanley Park Ecology Society Bird Count

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Hermit Thrush | Grive solitaire | Catharus guttatus

After a month-long absence from my blog, I’m posting a few pictures taken during Stanley Park Ecology Society‘s most recent monthly bird count, which took place this weekend, on October 9, 2016. It was once again very ably led by Else Mikkelsen and features about 15 dedicated volunteers!

This was an unusually calm count, especially since none of the winter ducks have yet arrived on Lost Lagoon… the flock (or raft, if you prefer) of Surf Scoters featured below was taken on the ocean before the count even began, near Stanley Park’s Ferguson Point. But we still saw many birds rather well, including Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Black-capped Chickadees and Northern Flickers. But the highlight for me was not doubt the Hermit Thrushes seen at the western edge of Lost Lagoon, especially since I was able to get several good photos of it, including the one featured above.

All photos taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. To see more pictures, please visit (and like, too!) my Facebook photography page and my Instagram account.

Great Blue Heron on Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

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Great Blue Heron | Grand héron | Ardea herodias: Taken at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach (in BC, Canada) with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 400 | 300mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600). Not baited, called in or set up.

Gotcha! Great Blue Heron fishing in North Vancouver

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Great Blue Heron | Grand héron | Ardea herodias: Fishing successfully in the waters near the City of North Vancouver’s Spirit Trail (Harbourside). Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (both photos: ISO 400 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1600). Not baited, called in or set up.

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Great Blue Heron perched in a tree in Jericho Park

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Great Blue Heron / Grand héron / Ardea herodias: Taken on April 11, 2015 in Jericho Beach Park, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 500 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1o00). Not baited, called in or set up.

Great Blue Heron in Vancouver’s Jericho Park

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Great Blue Heron, taken December 13, 2014 at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver campus), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 1250, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/500). Not baited, called in or set up.

Stanley Park Ecology Society: October Monthly Bird Count

Although it was supposed to rain, we ended up having some extraordinarily warm and even sunny weather for this month’s Stanley Park Ecology Society bird count, let by its conservation manager, Robyn Worcester.

Although the winter birds were not out in full force yet, we did get to see many interesting birds, including several Northern Shovelers (all females), several Steller’s Jays, a Pied-billed Grebe and a lone female Northern Pintail, not to mention several Mallards and Wood Ducks in full breeding plumage. In some ways, however, the highlights came after the end of the official event, when I lingered behind on the path around Beaver Lake and saw a pair of Red-breasted Sapsuckers, as well as a Purple Finch, which I haven’t seen for years. Alas, I was not quick enough to get a good picture of either of these species. Maybe some other time.

For now, here are a few of the shots that I did manage to get:

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Spotted Towhee | Beaver Lake (path)

STJA-02

Steller’s Jay | Beaver Lake (path)

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Steller’s Jay | Beaver Lake (path)

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Wood Duck (female) | Beaver Lake (path)

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Wood Duck (male) | Beaver Lake (path)

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Mallard (male) | Lost Lagoon

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Mallard (female) | Beaver Lake

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Mallard (female) | Beaver Lake

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Great Blue Heron | Beaver Lake

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Downy Woodpecker | Beaver Lake (path)

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Double-crested Cormorant | Lost Lagoon

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Chestnut-backed Chickadee | Beaver Lake (path)

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Black-capped Chickadee | Beaver Lake (path)

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American Coot | Lost Lagoon

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American Coot | Lost Lagoon (next to the path)