[Tweeters] Vancouver west side birding this afternoon

Randy Hill re_hill at q.com
Sun Dec 18 20:25:43 PST 2016

This afternoon I headed down to the Vancouver Lake / Lower River Road area
to run a Sandhill Crane survey. Wish I had left a bit earlier as I was
sidetracked on the way, and didn't quite accomplish what I had hoped to. I
decided to stop at the overlook area off NW Bernie Drive where Burnt Bridge
Creek crosses under Fruit Valley Road before entering Vancouver Lake. It
had a good variety of waterfowl, including four male Eurasian Wigeon. One
was oddly colored with a fully colored EUWI head, either a hybrid or
possibly a late-molting non-breeding>breeding plumage. I'll try to get
photos into an ebird report.

Still water is mostly frozen after a few nights of below-32 temperatures.
I headed into Vancouver Lake from LaFramboise Road to the boat ramp to scan
the lake. Concentrations of Western Grebes as usual, and lots of gulls
starting to appear by 3pm. A few surprises were about 20 Canvasbacks toward
the east shore and an Eared Grebe about midway across the lake looking

Along Old Lower River Road there were several flocks of Canada and Cackling
Geese. The northern-most flock had 2 Greater White-fronted Geese with 3 or
4 odd-plumaged assumed sub-adult hybrids in close proximity. I might get a
photo or two on ebird. My dawdling and dabbling got me to the survey area a
little later than expected but before the last of the cranes flew off.

Randy Hill


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