An enthusiastic group of Burnaby birders joined the early morning, kick-off event of this year’s 25th Annual Burnaby Rhododendron Festival, held today at Deer Lake Park. It’s the early birders who see the birds, so we do our tour before the crowds appear and the park gets too busy. The strategy certainly paid off today, and we had a good, birdy couple of hours.
Under a blue sky and sunshine we first headed via the Century Garden to take a look at our booming Great Blue Heron colony visible from Deer Lake Avenue (see previous post). Nest building was continuing, but some birds were sitting tight, likely incubating eggs.
One of the most common birds we heard singing on our walk this morning was the Spotted Towhee. However, we didn’t manage to get great looks, so here’s a picture I took previously of this dapper park resident.
Walking down to the lake we found only a few ducks, but this was more than made up for by the group spotting a bird we rarely see on the lake – a Common Loon. Not fishing , but seemingly just loafing, our loon visitor was likely using the lake for a brief stopover on its migration to points further north.
Other lakeshore/wetland residents we heard included the Common Yellowthroat (witchety, witchety), and the noisy, but skulking Marsh Wren.
Continuing our journey along the boardwalk at the west end of the lake, we were treated to great looks at one of our nesting Northern Harriers flying over the meadow, and allowing the group great looks at this distinctive, wetland-loving raptor – no pictures, unfortunately.
Great Blue Herons, Common Loon, and Northern Harrier were for me the highlights of the morning. A good walk that began and ended with the songs of robins.
In all we recorded thirty-three species, but many were only heard, or briefly seen. For a full list of birds recorded, click here.