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March 2019Go to Slide
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Short Month



Walking Around Queen Elizabeth Park

My kids have gymnastics for an hour and 25 minutes on Saturday mornings.  After I drop them off, I walk over the Queen Elizabeth Park and go looking for birds!  The real treats come later in the spring when all the migrants come through, but for now I am focusing on taking good photos of resident species.  Oh, and I'm always on the look out for hummingbirds because I would love to find a nest.

Today I spotted three different Red-breasted Nuthatches.  I was surprised I haven't seen any yet so far and three today, but that is the way it goes.  While watching the Nuthatches, I noticed a Chickadee was visiting the same tree.  Turns out it was a pair of chickadee's and they were excavating a future home for babies.  They tried pretty hard to release the wood chips away from the nest hole.

Nuthatch Looking For BugsNuthatch On Dead TreeChickadee Excavating Cavity
 
I walked around to where I saw the Variable Thrush a few weeks ago, and it was back in roughly the same bunch of trees.  Last time I saw it, it was eating fruit out of the canopy.  This week it was on the ground flipping over leaves looking for insects.  These birds will be gone in the summer - up in the mountains finding food and making babies.

Variable Thrush In Leaf LitterVariable Thrush On Stick

And then I am out of time and I rush back to pick up my kids.  Another great walk!

Makeup Lesson at Grouse

We booked 4 lessons over Christmas.  One morning was canceled because it was too windy for the gondola's to go up.  Grouse mountain was good - they offered replacement lessons, lift tickets and rentals but finding an open lesson turned out to be hard.  We wound up booking a semi-private lesson (an upgrade we paid for) so that we could get the lesson in before the season ended.

View From The Peak

Kids can only ski for so long.  Helen dropped us off at the base of the mountain around 11am and then we took the gondola up and rented skis.  It was almost 1pm by the time we had lunch and had everyone ready to go.  We got in two runs before our 2:30 lesson started.  I dropped the kids off with the instructor and went to the Olympic Express chair and the more challenging terrain.  Much to my surprise, the kids were behind me by just a few chairs!
 
Nara And Claira Unloading From ChairliftClaira Is Tired
The kids skied blue runs mostly, including some runs through the trees.  I went back to the base of the cut to pick up Claira's lost goggles and met the kids after class.  They were tired.

Nara And Claira In Class

We tried getting one more run in, but that turned out to be a mistake.  Claira was exhausted.  After getting back, we returned our rental gear (I almost forgot my skis at the top of the mountain) and returned back to the base where Helen picked us up.  A big day.  I felt proud of myself for taking the kids skiing.  I asked Nara if her friends go skiing in the local mountains on the week.  She replied - "No - they go skiing at Whistler".  Oh well.

Queen Elizabeth Park Again

Golden Crowned Kinglet Back
Birding with out people kind of scare of me.  The first question people ask is "what do you see" and I don't know my local birds well enough to give a good answer.  This morning I was pretty sure - the yellow flash on the head said "Golden Crowned Sparrow", but I was completely unaware this is also a Golden-Crowned Kinglet. A small flock - maybe four birds came through digging into the moss.

Golden Crowned Kinglet CleaningGolden Crowned Kinglet Searching Moss
 
The second bird I saw (from the same standing position) roughly resembled a song sparrow (spotted breast) but behaved very differently.  iNaturalist steered me in the right direction - it was a Hermit Thrush.  This bird was very brave - it came quite close to me in open disturbed soil.  (I looks like Vancouver Parks pulled up a huge expanse of blackberry and English Ivy).
 
Hermet Thrush In Disturbed SoilHermet Thrush Side View
I wondered what made the bird so brave, but when a family walked up the trail talking with each other, the Thrush flew off and didn't return.

Hermit Thrush From Side
 
What surprised me about QE park is how every week I see different birds.  Chickadees and Song Sparrows are reliable, but many other species I have only seen one time.  Perhaps I saw them before but incorrectly identified them and ignored the actual diversity of the park.


Nara And Claira In Class
Altitude: 945m (3100 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Grouse Mountain, skiing
Variable Thrush In Leaf Litter
Species: Ixoreus naevius (Varied Thrush)
Altitude: 110m (360 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
View From The Peak
Altitude: 1094m (3589 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Grouse Mountain, skiing, vista
Chickadee Excavating Cavity
Species: Poecile atricapillus (Black-capped Chickadee)
Altitude: 115m (377 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Nuthatch On Dead Tree
Species: Sitta canadensis (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
Altitude: 115m (377 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Hermit Thrush From Side
Species: Catharus guttatus (Hermit Thrush)
Altitude: 131m (429 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Claira Is Tired
Altitude: 1095m (3592 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Grouse Mountain
Hermet Thrush In Disturbed Soil
Species: Catharus guttatus (Hermit Thrush)
Altitude: 131m (429 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Variable Thrush On Stick
Species: Ixoreus naevius (Varied Thrush)
Altitude: 110m (360 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Nuthatch Looking For Bugs
Species: Sitta canadensis (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
Altitude: 115m (377 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Golden Crowned Kinglet Searching Moss
Species: Regulus satrapa (Golden-crowned Kinglet)
Altitude: 131m (429 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Golden Crowned Kinglet Cleaning
Species: Regulus satrapa (Golden-crowned Kinglet)
Altitude: 131m (429 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Hermet Thrush Side View
Species: Catharus guttatus (Hermit Thrush)
Altitude: 131m (429 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Nara And Claira Unloading From Chairlift
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 989m (3244 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Grouse Mountain, skiing
Golden Crowned Kinglet Back
Species: Regulus satrapa (Golden-crowned Kinglet)
Altitude: 131m (429 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park
Tags: Queen Elizabeth Park(11), Grouse Mountain(4), skiing(3), vista(1)
People: Claira(1), Nara(1)

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Last Modified Sunday, March 10th, 2019 at 00:09:56 Edit
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