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Vanier Park - January 27 2012

Posted by birder on Saturday, January 28, 2012
Yesterday (January 27) I went to Vanier Park to do some birding. I find this location is really a good spot for bird watching, given the fact that there are so many people and that the place is really small. When I arrived, I noticed a few shapes of birds far out in the ocean. Looking through my camera, I could see that the birds far out in the ocean were mainly cormorants, but there were also many gulls and a few others. The most interesting bird that I waspresent at the time though was a pair of Long-tailed Ducks. They were very far away, but it was the first time I had seen a Long-tailed Duck, so I took some photos. Here are a few of them:

I took some shots of the Long-tailed Ducks, then noticed another bird closer to shore. I took some photos, then it dived, when it came up, I took some more photos, and it dived once again. This time I did not see it come up, so it must have come up some distance away. It was a llon, but it was to small to be the most likley Common Loon. It looked like a Red-throated Loon, but I firgued it must be a Pacific becuase a Red-throated Loon is pretty uncommon at Vanier Park. I posted the photo online and it has been identfied as a Red-throated Loon. Now I am sure it is a Red-throated, because I looked at the photo more closley. Here are three photos of the loon:

After scanning the ocean one more time, I walked to the main pond. In it, there were a few scaups, some Bufflhead, many widgeons, a few Northern Shovelers, Mallards, and a possible teal of some kind. I snapped a few photos of all the birds, and then noticed that one of the Northern Shovelers had come to the shore of the pond to preen. The male shoveler provided some nice photos, including these ones:

I left the shoveler and walked some more. Among a group of widgeons, I noticed an American x Eurasian Widgeon hybrid. It was a pretty bird, showing more Eurasian Widgeon characteristics than American.

The hybrid widgeon came out of the water eat some bird seed that a person had left on the grass, and I turned to walk away. In the distance, I notcied an eagle land on a totem pole. It was joined by another eagle. In the distance I spotted their nest, then I headed over to see the eagles. They looked so majestic when I arrived at the pole.

After watching the eagles for a while, I went back to the water to see if any new birds had arrived, but the same things were around, exept for the Red-throated Loon. The Long-tailed Ducks were also still present, and I snapped a few more photos.

Also present was a Great-blue Heron that had landed there earier.

I now had to leave, but it had been a great birding day and I got two lifers, Long-tailed Ducks and a Red-throated Loon.

Here are some other photos from the visit to Vanier:

Bald Eagle flying towards its nest
Gull resting in the pond
A Mallard (possibly a mallard hybrid) that I recognized from my last visit to this location (recognized by unique bill colour)
A group of widgeons, including the Eurasian x American Widgeon hybrid and a possible pure female Eurasian Widgeon

A Mew Gull walking on the grass in the fading light

I hope you enjoyed the photos!




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