I’m back… sort of!

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Dear reader…

As you know, I have stopped posting to my blog since the Fall of 2016. I have returned for a brief moment, however, to let you know that I was pleased to be interviewed for a blog post by Sharon McInnes, a regular contributor at Bird Canada. If you have a moment, please take a moment to read her article and look at my photos (including the one posted above. To read Sharon’s article, please click here!

Signs of spring?

Dear reader, although it is raining now in Greater Vancouver, Sunday was glorious! In fact, there were signs of spring a bit everywhere. Among other things, it looked like most residents of the region were on the seawall that afternoon (and the rest were hitting the slopes on the North Shore or at Whistler). The following photos should give you some context…

Random Bird Photo of the Day: Pileated Woodpecker

As I was sorting my digital photo collection (I haven’t come close to finishing yet), I came across this photo of a female Pileated Woodpecker, North America’s largest still-commonly-seen woodpecker (RIP, Ivory-billed?). I thought I would share it with you, gentle reader…

Pileated Woodpecker (female)

Pileated Woodpecker (female)

Monday Nature Post: Binkert Trail View

A few hours later than usual, here is this week’s “Monday Nature Post.” This is one of the many magnificent views on the Binkert Trail, which leads you the the “West Lion” summit on the North Shore of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

This photo of Lions Bay was taken at an altitude of about 1550 meters, not too far from the “West Lion” summit. I have to admit that I did not go all the way, since I knew that I had about four hours of hiking left to do. Downhill. On difficult terrain. But what a rewarding hike!

Monday Nature Photo: Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

This photo was taken a few weeks ago after a brave — or foolish? — family hike, from the second peak at St’a7mes / Stawamus Chief Provincial Park in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh / Squamish, BC (Canada)… in spite of the difficult climb, this was a great experience, especially considering the view!

Stanley Park Ecology Society Bird Count

On this beautiful July 8 morning, I participated (as a volunteer) on the monthly bird count of the Stanley Park Ecology Society. Aside from allowing all participants to appreciate the wonder of having such a magnificant natural area minutes from downtown Vancouver, BC (Canada), this count allows to have a reliable measure of how the Stanley Park’s bird population is doing.

To see the results of the July 2012 bird count, click here: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/2012/07/11/bushtits-merlins-and-hummingbirds/

I would like to take this occasion to thank SPES and in particular, its Conservation Officer, Robyn Worcester, for holding this event every month since 2006. It is highly appreciated by all participants.

You can find out more about SPES, its mission and activities and of course about Stanley Park here: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/

See you in August, life permitting!

Family Visit to Capilano Park

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Today (July 1st), which happens to be Canada Day in these parts, the whole family had a great outing in Capilano Park (between Cleveland Dam and the federally-run salmon hatchery), less than 15 minutes from home in North Vancouver. It was a good outing to have before sitting down to witnessing Italy’s crushing defeat to the Spaniards in the Euro Cup 2012.

As is usually the case in natural areas on the Northwest coast of North America, we were able to admire rushing waters and lush green plants and trees, since they are often covered in moss. The photos below should give you a faint idea of the natural (and sometimes human-modified) beauty we witnessed.

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Again, although this was not the objective of our walk, I was able to hear (and in a few cases see) various birds, including American Robins and Pacific Wrens, not too mention various unidentified thrushes, warlbers and various wood peepers. I’m also fairly certain hat I heared a Pacific-slope Flycatcher (would have been a lifer if I had been 99.9% certain). I also think that I saw a Western Tanager eating berries, but I was not able to get a second look to confirm, so it will have to remain a tantilizing possibility for now. I did get to photograph a huge (Banana?) slug and some nive flowers, however.

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Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

Today (June 24, 2012), the whole family visited Stawamus Chief Provincial Park in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (a.k.a. Squamish), about 45 minutes north of our home in British Columbia, Canada. Although the terrain was quite challenging, it was a great outing, with perfect weather, plenty of fresh air, beautiful scenery and even a few bird sightings (mostly hearings, actually)! And something truly odd happened: we crossed our next door neighbours during our walk, completely by coincidence!

I have included a few photos of the scenery in this post, even though they give you merely a faint idea of the splendours of this region.

And even though I was not birding at all on this day (the terrain was really too steep!), I still heard or saw many species including: Grey Jays, a Raven, a Pileated Woodpecker, a Sooty Grouse, at least one Swainson’s Thrush and Varied Thrush, with various unidentified kinglets, warblers and hummingbirds (not to mention several highly curious Douglas Squirrels and Chipmunks). And at the very end of our hike, I even managed to take a few pictures of a family of White-crowned Sparrows enjoying the sun and feeding their offspring (see the last two pictures below).

I strongly recommend this park to anyone who likes a challenging but highly rewarding hike!

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