[Tweeters] Vancouver and Burnaby Trip

Gary casacummins at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 2 21:05:20 PST 2013

Hello all, and thanks for the tips on the White-winged crossbills.  We went first to find the Brambling in the alley behind 868 W 17th.  On the way however, once across the border and along Highway 99 in the Delta area we saw the most Bald eagles we had ever seen in one area -  at least 25 scattered along the way, mostly to the right (east).  Two were engaged in mating rituals, holding talons and cartwheeling through the sky.  We also saw many swans along the way and also in the Delta area and on the right, a flock of at least 200 Snow geese.  When we got to 968 W 17th, at about 12:30, we saw the Brambling almost immediately in a small blackberry-dominated brushy area near the alley along with a large number of House sparrows, Song sparrows, and a few House finches all moving and chattering constantly.  There is a white plastic hoop in the brush where the Brambling hung out most of the time, but never sitting still for more than a heartbeat.  At
about 2:30, we then went on to the Burnaby Lake Nature House and the Spruce Loop Trail.  The park, located at the end of Piper Street, is a nicely maintained site with a moderately sized lake in the center.  When we arrived we immediately noted a Boreal chickadee - a lifer for me, and my wife found a Common redpoll hanging out with a smallish flock of Pine siskins.  We accompanied three local birders by turning to the left on the trail (facing the lake) for about 1/2 mile to a tall spruce on the right side.  There we heard the crossbills chattering in the upper portion of the canopy, but never got a clear look.  After about 20 minutes they took off.
The lake had a large number of waterfowl including many Mallards, Wood ducks, and Green-winged teal.  We also saw at least one Goldeneye and two Redheads, along with four Canada geese, and a small flock of Long-billed dowitchers.  All of these were habituated to human presence, allowing for good looks and photos.  Great birds, nice day, nice city, nice park and nice birders.  We'll certainly return there.

Gary Cummins
Port Townsend
casacummins at yahoo.com

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