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Recent birding - Colony Farm, QE Park, and more

Posted by birder on Saturday, April 27, 2013
On Sunday April 21, I went out to Colony Farm in the afternoon. I was hoping for a Virginia Rail, Sora, or both.

I arrived at the pond by Shaughnessy Street. I looked around the pond. There were many Red-winged Blackbirds, many Ring-necked Ducks, a Pied-billed Grebe, a Gadwall, mallards, Marsh Wren singing, and more. Then all of a sudden, some movement caught my eye.

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A Virginia Rail had emerged from a hole in a clump of reeds! It only stayed out for a few seconds before going back into the hole. I watched the hole to see if it would come out again. After 15-20 minutes, the bird came out again:

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It was only the second Virginia Rail I had seen, and by far the best photos I have gotten of a Virginia Rail.


Satisfied with the rail sightings, I walked a bit. Common Yellowthroats were singing around, and one came out where I could see it well:

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Not very far from the Common Yellowthroat, a Coyote was walking around. It was fairly small so it may have been a younger one:

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More walking turned up some Bufflehead, Wood Ducks, a lone Canada Goose, more Common Yellowthroats, but not much else. I returned to the pond that the rail was at, and was treated to a young Great Blue Heron on a nest box:

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The Ring-necked Ducks that I had seen on the pond earlier had come closer so I took some photos of them:

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I finished the day with some Red-winged Blackbird shots:

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On Wednesday, I went out to Queen Elizabeth Park for some more birding. For the first hour, I saw nothing interesting. That changed when I went to the Ontario and 33rd pond at the edge of the park. I got treated to about 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers. Both the myrtle and the audubon warblers were around:

Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Audubon Yellow-rumped Warbler
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While looking at the warblers, I looked up at the sky. There was a Red-tailed Hawk, a Bald Eagle. What was really interesting was that there were also four Sandhill Cranes circling above. I have heard that they sometimes fly over the city, but I had never seen it. Here is a photo of the cranes:

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Soon the Sandhill Cranes were very far away, so I continued to watch the warblers. While watching the warblers I took breaks to check the pond. I decided I would try for some photos of one of the 6 Gadwall (3 pairs) that were on the pond that the warblers were around. I lay down to get eye-level shots, and I ended up with nice results:

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I now went to a spot where I had seen chickadees excavating a nest hole in a tree. This time, the chickadees were making finishing touches like removing bits of bark from inside the cavity:

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I now continued walking and went to other areas in the park. Soon I had picked up a pair of Lincoln's Sparrows:

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Not far from the Lincoln's Sparrow, I picked up a pair of Hutton's Vireos! It was a lifer for me (#371). They are among the last regularly seen birds of the Lower Mainland that I have to get on my list. The vireos would do a circuit around the area and always return to the same exact perches, so it was easy to photograph them:

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Later in the day I headed to Richmond with my 70-300 IS lens (birding wasn't my primary purpose so I didn't bring my 400mm). I managed to pick up these birds:

Cooper's Hawk
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Eurasian Collared-dove
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Chipping Sparrow
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Orange-crowned Warbler
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Red-winged Blackbird
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It's been a great last while of birding for me.


Thanks for looking!



 

 

 

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