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.

A short break from blogging…

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You may have noticed that I published this blog a few hours later than usual. I guess I was inspired by this handsome gentleman (Wood Duck) to take a bit of a rest… from blogging, that is. But I promise to not be away for too, too long: I’ll be back in a few days with more photos! And please know that I greatly appreciate your visits, likes and comments.

Wood Duck (male) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: Taken February 16, 2016 near Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 800 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/500), cropped for composition. Not baited, called in or set up.

 

Stanley Park Ecology Society: April Bird Count

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Stanley Park Ecology Society‘s most recent bird count took place on Sunday, April 11. Even though it was fairly quiet, I was able to get a few interesting photos. And it was a treat to see three species of the swallows (Tree, Violet-green and Barn) flying over the water to catch insects.

The count was led once again by Else Mikkelsen, who is a longtime SPES volunteer and is pursuing an undergraduate science degree at the University of British Columbia.

The photos featured today were taken on the park’s Lost Lagoon or Beaver Lake with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. None of the birds were baited, called in or set up, although the chickadees and squirrels were attracted to seeds left behind by other users of the park. These species will be featured in a separate post in the days to come. [UPDATE: Actually, I like the photo gallery setup so much that I will progressively update each of the captions below, rather than posting each species individually. I will move to other photos, instead.]

  • Photo above: Male Wood Duck, taken not far from Lost Lagoon
  • Photos below: Each species identified separately

 

Northern Shoveler on Lost Lagoon

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Northern Shoveler (male and female in background) | Canard souchet | Anas clypeata: Taken on Lost Lagoon, in Stanley Park in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada, on March 13, 2016, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 900 | 330mm | f/5.6 | 1/500), cropped for composition. Not baited, called in or set up.

Female Bufflehead in Stanley Park

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Bufflehead (female) | Petit Garrot | Bucephala albeola: Taken near Lost Lagoon, in Stanley Park in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada, on March 13, 2016, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: ISO 1600 | 420mm | f/5.6 | 1/320, cropped for composition
  • Bottom: ISO 1600 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/400, cropped for composition

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Common Merganser (male and female)

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Common Merganser (male and female) | Grand Harle | Mergus merganser: Both photos taken February 20, 2016, on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon in Vancouver, BC with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, cropped. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top (male): ISO 400 | 410mm | f/6.3 | 1/1000
  • Bottom (female): ISO 400 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/1250

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Common Goldeneye on Lost Lagoon

 

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Common Goldeneye | Garrot à œil d’or | Bucephala clangula: The top photo shows the remarkable courting display of a male in front of a female (the whole contortion routine was accompanied by remarkably deep grunts, by the way). Below, a male showed me his best side!

Both photos taken February 20, 2016, on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon in Vancouver, BC with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, cropped. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top (male courting a female): ISO 800 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/800
  • Bottom (male): ISO 500 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000

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A mystery involving two female goldeneyes

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I would like to sound the collective wisdom of this my readers… One of these goldeneyes is easily identifiable as a female Common Goldeneye (rounded head and black bill with a yellow tip). The other, however, is a bit of a challenge. The bill is the right size to be a Common, but the colour is off (too orange) and the head is perhaps a bit more peaked than it should be. Could it be a hybrid female Common X Barrow’s?

Both birds were taken February 20, 2016, on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon in Vancouver, BC with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, cropped. Not baited, called in or set up.

Mystery goldeneye: ISO 800 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/800
Common Goldeneye (female): ISO 500 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000

Female Bufflehead near Lost Lagoon

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Bufflehead (female) | Petit Garrot | Bucephala alveoli: Taken on February 16, 2016 near Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 1250 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/500), cropped for composition. Not baited, called in or set up.

Wood Duck (male) near Lost Lagoon

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Wood Duck (male) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: Taken on February 16, 2016 near Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 800 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/500), cropped for composition. Not baited, called in or set up.

American Coot on Lost Lagoon

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American Coot | Foulque d’Amérique | Fulica americana: Taken on February 16, 2016 at Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 800 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/800), cropped for composition. Not baited, called in or set up.

Lesser Scaup at Lost Lagoon

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Lesser Scaup (male) | Petit fuligule | Aythya affinis: Taken on February 16, 2016 at Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 500 | 500mm | f/6.3 | 1/1000), cropped for composition. Not baited, called in or set up.

Common Goldeneyes on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon

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Common Goldeneye (male & female) | Garrot à oeil d’or | Bucephala clangula: Taken November 18, 2015 on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: Female, ISO 1600 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/100, not cropped
  • Bottom: Male, ISO 1600 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/160, cropped for composition

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Male Common Goldeneye on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon

COGO_male_01-Lost_Lagoon-2015_01_19 Common Goldeneye / Garrot à œil d’or / Bucephala clangula: Not to sound like a broken record, but the lighting was challenging! Still, in the photo above, you can clearly see the green tinge to the dark head. And in the photo below, he clearly had quite an itch, right behind his ear! Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up. Top: ISO 800, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/800 Bottom: ISO 800, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/800 COGO_male_02-Lost_Lagoon-2015_01_19

Ring-necked Duck on Lost Lagoon in Vancouver’s Stanley Park

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Ring-necked Duck / Fuligule à collier / Aythya collaris: Although the lighting was challenging on this day (as I’ve pointed out in a couple of previous posts), I like this photo because you clearly see the maroon “ring” around the male’s neck (it is often not very visible). Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 800, 270mm, f/5.6, 1/1000). Not baited, called in or set up.

Male Bufflehead on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon

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Bufflehead (male) / Petit Garrot / Bucephala albeola: The lighting was challenging, to put it mildly, and parts of the whites are either blown out or in the shade in both of these photos, but I still like the fact that the direct sunlight creates a multi-coloured effect in the dark portions of the head (in the shade or under cloudy conditions, these portions of the head would essentially look glossy black). Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: ISO 500, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/1000
  • Bottom: ISO 800, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/800

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Pied-billed Grebe on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon

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Pied-billed Grebe / Grèbe à bec bigarré / Podilymbus podiceps: This is an adult that seems to be transitioning from its winter to breeding plumage. Although the lighting conditions on this day were not perfect, a bit of editing got me a result that is more than acceptable. Both photos taken on Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon Vancouver, BC, Canada, on January 19, 2015, with a handheld handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Above: ISO 800, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/1000
  • Below: ISO 800, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/640

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Hooded Merganser fishing on Lost Lagoon

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Hooded Merganser / Harle couronné/ Lophodytes cucullatus (male): I normally wouldn’t post the same species twice, but I thought it was interesting that this bird was clearly scoping out the water to find fish. Taken on January 13, 2015 at Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Shot with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 1100, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/500). Not baited, called in or set up.

Hooded Merganser on Lost Lagoon

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Hooded Merganser / Harle couronné/ Lophodytes cucullatus (male): Taken on January 13, 2015 at Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Shot with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 1100, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/500). Not baited, called in or set up.

D50 Archives: Common Goldeneye

This week’s “D50 Archives” features one of the many lovely duck species that frequents Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon in Vancouver, BC, namely the Common Goldeneye (en français : Garot à œil d’or | Scientific name: Bucephala clangula).

I have included a picture of both a male and female, which I was lucky to take in the beautiful light we sometimes get here in winter and early spring.

You will no doubt note that in both shots, the birds in question are assuming an oddly submissive pose, something they often do as they approach people who are standing on Lost Lagoon’s shore. I still do not understand why they do this.

COGO (female) | March 2012

COGO (female) | March 2012

COGO (male) | March 2012

COGO (male) | March 2012