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Stanley Park - September 8 2013

Posted by Liron on Monday, September 9, 2013
Today, I participated in the Stanley Park Ecology Society's monthly bird count.

We met at the nature house at Lost Lagoon, and began counting. Today, the lagoon was unusually quiet. Two Double-crested Cormorants, two Anna's Hummingbird (heard only), one Downy Woodpecker (heard only), some Wood Ducks, and a Northern Shoveler were the only things of real interest that were around. The lack of birds was possibly due to a large walk going on around the lagoon and the fact that many areas of the lagoon are currently filled with a bad green algae (look at the water in the shoveler photo below) caused by warm water temperatures. 

Here is a photo of the Northern Shoveler that we saw:

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The lack of activity was made up for when we counted birds around Beaver Lake!

As we started counting a flock of warblers and kinglets came in. The warblers included Black-throated Gray, Townsend's, and Orange-crowned Warblers, and both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets were present. I took many photos, but the only birds willing to cooperate were the Townsend's and Black-throated Gray Warblers:

Townsend's Warbler:

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Black-throated Gray Warbler:

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Also present and mixed in the flock was a Brown Creeper, feeding on a tree, and both Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Here is a photo of a Chestnut-backed Chickadee that was coming down lower than most of the birds in the flock. The photo is noisy, but it'll do:

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As we watched the warblers, our attention turned away in a split second. Why? A Townsend's Solitaire had just landed on a branch by the trail! The Townsend's Solitaire has been a bird I really wanted on my life list, so it was really great to finally add it! The bird perched on a branch for around 10-15 seconds, posing, and then flew deep into the bushes with another bird that we didn't identify.

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Townsend's Solitaire - Lifer #548 

Yes!!!! :D 



We continued walking, and farther up an Orange-crowned Warbler was shaking off water after a bath. The bird was deep in a bush but I took photos anyways:

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Other birds we tallied at Beaver Lake included two Red-breasted Nuthatch and one Downy Woodpecker (both species heard only).


After the count I went back to where we had seen the Townsend's Solitaire and waited. Soon, the bird flew up out of some thick cover to a berry bush, attempted to grab a berry in flight (I'm not sure if it got it or not), and flew up higher into a tree and out of site. I'm pretty sure I saw the bird again but it was another very brief view. 

When we first saw the solitaire, we had seen a bird fly into thick cover with it, but we didn't know what it was. This time when I saw the solitaire try to grab a berry on the wing, its partner popped out of the bushes: a Hermit Thrush!

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The thrush disappeared, but after a minute or two it appeared again. This time, it popped out of the cover right next the the trail, and looked around. Occasionally it did a quick wing flap as they often do which provided a different sort of shot. Here are some shots of the Hermit Thrush:

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Though Lost Lagoon had been quite, birds at Beaver Lake and my lifer Townsend's Solitaire made it a great day of birding!:) 


Thanks for looking!



 

 

 

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