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Recent mountain birding

Posted by Liron on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I have learned a few things about birding on mountains in BC over the years. Sometimes you will go up and only see a couple common birds, but other times it will be the most rewarding birding you have ever done. I've down two big mountain outings in the past while, and both were very rewarding!

Cypress Mountain - October 5 2014

On October 5 I went with Mel (birdergirl) and her sister Megan up Cypress Mountain to look for Pygmy-Owls. There, we ran into many others, who were all there for the same reason.

The wait for the owl began, but many birds kept us company including lots of Gray Jays. I spent some time getting wide angles flight shots of them, and I am very happy with the results!

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There were lots of Steller's Jays too:

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There were at least five Sharp-shinned Hawks that generally remained distant but I still took a few shots:

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After about three hours, I told everybody I was going to head down and look for the owl lower on the trail. Not three minutes after I began looking lower down I got a call. The pygmy owl had flown in! I raced back up and was so happy to see the pygmy owl was still there. It was a lifer!

The owl flew to various perches over the next while, this one being the closest. My 1.4x teleconverter on the 400mm f/5.6 (giving me 560mm) made a big difference for this shot, even though it meant using manual focus.

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On the way home we stopped where Nick had told us he had seen some Greater White-fronted Geese. Sure enough they were there, and also a few Cackling Geese!

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It was a great day of birding!


Manning Park - October 13 2014

On October 13 I went with Mel (birdergirl) to Manning Provincial Park to look for some target birds. It was a great day, we saw some great birds and I got a lifer!

The lifer was this beautiful male American Three-toed Woodpecker that we saw while hiking around. It was so awesome to see it!

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Not long after the success with the three-toed woodpecker, we ran into this beautiful Red-breasted Sapsucker:

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There were also lots of Gray Jays around, as expected:

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We now began the drive up to higher elevations to look for some more birds. On the way up we saw a Sooty Grouse beside the road that disappeared when we stopped for a photo, and this Ruffed Grouse too:

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At we arrived at our next stop where a couple Clark's Nutcrackers were happy to have their photos taken:

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There were beautiful trees around here, just like the rest of the park:

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We were very happy when this Pine Grosbeak flew in while we were watching the nutcrackers! The 1.4x teleconverter on my 400mm helped in this shot.

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While our search in even higher elevations for Boreal Chickadees was unsuccessful (lots of Mountain Chickadees though), we did find this Sooty Grouse on the drive down, which posed for us for a long time! A Pika (rodent) also made a brief appearance.

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It was an awesome day! :) Thanks to Mel for driving me there and for knowing where to look for my target species.


Here are some of the bird species we saw in the park that day:

Ruffed Grouse
Sooty Grouse
Red-tailed Hawk
hawk sp. (brief look)
Northern Pygmy-Owl (heard only)
Red-breasted Sapsucker
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Steller's Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
Common Raven
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pacific Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Townsend's Solitaire
Varied Thrush
Dark-eyed Junco
Pine Grosbeak
Pine Siskin



 

 

 

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