Posted by birder on Thursday, October 17, 2013
I managed to do lots of birding over the long weekend!
On Saturday I went to Queen Elizabeth Park. I hoped to stumble across a White-throated Sparrow like I did on multiple visits last year. I didn't find a White-throated Sparrow, but other birds were around.
I find Queen Elizabeth Park to be one of the best spots for Hermit Thrush in the Vancouver area at this time of year. Multiple birds were around today, and I got some nice shots:
Other birds were around as well. Though distant, I got some shots of Steller's Jays and Northern Flickers between Hermit Thrushes:
I now walked to a different area in the park. On the way, I stopped for some Gadwall photos at the main duck pond where three male and one female Gadwall were off to the side away from all the Mallards:
Later I picked up some more songbirds including this Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Pacific Wren:
The next day I decided to go and try to see the Black-necked Stilt and Willet that were being seen near the White Rock pier. Both would be a first for Canada for me! I managed to see them both as well as some other birds.
When I arrived, I walked east along the path by the water. I passed the large white rock, and soon after I saw a flash of black and white on the rocks. It was a stilt! When I caught up with the bird, another photographer was leaving, leaving me as the only birder around at the time. I went down for some lower angle shots and managed some nice ones:
The bird fed along the shore, heading east. I move down the beach to catch up with it, and got my second target bird: the Willet!
After some shots of the Willet, I went back to photographing the stilt, the rarer of the two.
I then noticed the Willet at moved around a bit, so I positioned myself to get a more artistic silhouette shot of the Willet:
The stilt and the Willet were not the only shorebirds around. Lots of Lesser Yellowlegs and some Killdeer were also feeding on the beach:
All these shorebirds were also joined by tons of gulls. The majority of the gulls were Mew Gulls, including this one on the same rock as the Willet was on:
Among all the Mew Gulls, there were also two Bonaparte's Gulls that were much more active than most of the gulls around. I got some nice shots of them when they landed near me on the beach:
The beach was also covered with many Canadian Geese, Mallards, and American Wigeon. Among all this waterfowl I also by chance picked out a Mallard x Northern Pintail hybrid when I spotted it in my viewfinder feeding behind the Black-necked Stilt:
I took some more shots of the stilt before heading to the pier about 200m away to look for other birds:
Once on the pier, I spotted a flock of Surf Scoters feeding. I stopped to take some pictures of them:
These Surf Scoters were not the only scoters around. Some other scoters flew by. In one of these Surf Scoter groups flying by I picked out two White-winged Scoters:
Other birds around included Red-necked Grebe, Common Loon, and some Horned Grebe including this one right beside the pier:
I now headed to Blackie Spit, which is about 15 minutes away. I walked out to the end of the spit. Not too much was around, but I did see some Savannah Sparrows:
I now spotted some movement in the grass. A Pectoral Sandpiper! As I watched it, I noticed there was a second. This was a great opportunity for some nice shots, because there was some nice late afternoon light shining on the birds as they fed. I got down fairly low (but not too low so the grass wouldn't block my vision of the birds) and took some pictures:
While photographing the Pectoral Sandpipers I also took a few more artistic sort of shots of some Northern Pintail sleeping in the grass nearby:
It had been a great day of birding!
On Monday, I went to Vanier Park. I hoped to see some White-throated Sparrows that had been seen there the week before. I didn't see them, but other birds were around.
On the ponds, I set up down low for photography of the birds on the pond:
I now spent some time by the water where I was entertained by a Belted Kingfisher. The kingfisher wasn't in a mood for posing so it took a while to get some decent shtos:
Deep in a tree:
Flying by me:
Finally in the open! But not on a natural perch, oh well!
It had been a great weekend full of birds!
Thanks for looking!