A couple of weeks ago, when the blue Vancouver sky was cloaked in a smokey haze from far-away forest fires, my friend D and I headed to Wreck Beach, hoping that the westernmost end of Vancouver would have clearer skies. If not, well, it was a perfectly hot day for a swim in the ocean. After swimming, we walked along the mudflats by the log … Continue reading Least Sandpiper at Wreck Beach
I saw this male at Burnaby Lake, my second time seeing these cowbirds after seeing some at Reifel a few days earlier. These birds are brood parasites; they do not build nests. Instead, the female finds a nest, usually belonging to a smaller species, and lays her eggs there. A few species recognize the cowbird eggs and dispose of them. But most species do not … Continue reading Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
I heard about the Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) chick at Burnaby Lake from bcsongbird. She says it is not usual to see Sandhill Cranes there and this couple has been there for a few months. I saw my first Sandhill Cranes at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Wednesday. There were many adults eating tidbits on the gravel path near the water, along with some Canada … Continue reading Sandhill Crane family
Mr. Molting Wood Duck got a bit startled by Miss Mallard who was most definitely going to preen on her favourite rock. He moved over and gave her some space but she insisted he get off completely.
I mentioned that hoverflies eat aphids in my previous post but I actually didn’t know what they looked like. I looked at many, many, many pictures of wasps to identify the insect in the photograph above, but none of them looked right. When I zoomed in for a closer look, I noticed that the antennae were shorter than a wasps and that the body shape … Continue reading A hoverfly!
The bee-loved flowers above are sometimes called poached egg plant. Their official name is Limnanthes douglasii and their “more serious” common name is Douglas Meadowfoam. After trying various descriptions with Google search, “five white and yellow petals” finally yielded an image that looked like the flower I was looking for. Yay! I don’t have the motivation to figure out the bee species but if you … Continue reading Poached eggs for breakfast
I took this photograph while she was watching her little ones swim and nibble along the shore on the south side of the Lost Lagoon. For a few seconds, she was close and still and not in the shadows. Continue reading Wood duck hen
After the mating season, male Mallards start to molt. They look a little sickly as little beige patches appear on their lovely green heads. I only discovered a few months ago that some birds have different breeding and non-breeding plumage. The last few weeks, I’ve been watching the male Mallards change with excited anticipation. When, when, when will I see a fully morphed male? I … Continue reading Molting male Mallards
Two weeks ago I saw my first Killdeer at the Vanier Park pond and this week I saw my first Spotted Sandpiper at Trout Lake. A single white stripe on each mostly beige wing appeared when the bird flew to the other side of the beach. Very cute. Continue reading Another shorebird
May 31st. Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park, Vancouver. Continue reading Wood Duck mama and her ducklings
I think it is a bullfrog since it has a distinct tympanum (the circular body part just behind and below the eye) and no dorsolateral folds. The diameter of a male’s tympanum is roughly twice that of their eye while a female’s is about the same size. The photograph suggests a tympanum diameter 1.5 times that of the eye, so I’m stumped. Bullfrogs are not … Continue reading Froggy!
According to All About Birds, killdeer are shorebirds you can see without going to the beach; they are common to lawns and parking lots. Maybe they are not so ubiquitous in Vancouver? Well… I did not see one at the beach, though it was about a 2 minute human walk away on the shore of the Vanier Park Pond. Birdy sounded a sharp “dee” alarm … Continue reading My first killdeer