John Harvey Photo

March 2021Go to Slide
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Outside isn't so cold anymore!


Walk at Iona Beach Regional Park

Raccoon Looking For Bed
On a Saturday morning, Iona is one of my "go to" parks.  It's a short drive from our house and it's almost a different world - sandy beach, large ponds, grasslands and a few large trees.  This visit we didn't even get out of the parking lot before spotting wildlife.  Two Raccoons decided the tree that shades would make a great place to sleep and they were looking for forks in the branches to sleep.  We watched them curl up into balls and fall asleep 30+ feet from the ground.


Red Winnged Blackbird From ReedsHarrier Looking Down
Our usual route is to walk around the large northern pond.  It's a favorite place to see Yellow-winged Blackbirds (none today) and predators hunting.  While it's early spring, the blackbirds were out in numbers and their song carry well.

Harrier Looking For Lunch

In the blackberries and small trees near the pond you can often spot smaller birds.

Golden Crowned KingletGolden Crowned Sparrows On Ground
 
When you get around to the river side, the short stunted trees have many really good perches for hummingbirds.  Apparently it's breeding seasons as Males were already staking out territories.  We didn't see any females today.

Male Annas Looking AwayMale Annas Side View

Grinning Patch On BeakTwo Juvenile Snow Geese
  A real surprise for me was to see the Snow Geese!  I usually associate these with large flocks in farmers fields or at the edge of the Fraser delta.  I was a little surprised to see a bunch of birds eating grass near the parking lot, but we happened to be in the park at high high tide so there would be very little space for them out on the mud.  We took a seat on a log and watched as the birds ate their way closer and closer to us.  Behaving like a flock, eventually something changed their minds and they lifted into the air, only the settle down 20 feet away in another grassy patch.  It was nice to be so close to calm birds.


Snow Geese Taking FlightSnow Goose In Flight
 

VanDusen

Snail Exploring Arbutus
Being spring break in Vancouver during COVID (but before the wave 3 added restrictions), we are looking for things we can do that don't involve crowds.  Some places have very restricted access that is almost impossible to sign up for - the Bloedel conservatory for instances is usually booked about two weeks in advance.  I was quite surprised to find that I could get VanDusen admission tickets same day.  It's a huge park and they do have some of the paths setup as one way so we thought it would make a good day.



Running On Bridge
We have been to VanDusen plenty of times so we have a few favorites - the floating zig zag bridge and the maze are must do attractions.  Given that it is March, there aren't a lot of flowers out other than Rhodo's so we didn't spend a lot of time looking for flowers.

Rhodo With Dew

I wonder if it's the smaller crowds, but I did get quite lucky with birds.  I finally got a photo of a Brown Creeper!  In theory, they are quite easy to photograph - they start low on a tree and slowly work their way up gathering bugs.  Once they get high enough, they drop down onto another tree and do the same thing.  In practice, their next tree can be some distance away and you often spot them as they are walking way above your head.

Red Breasted Nuthatch On Douglas FirRuby Crowned Kinglet Looking For BugsBrown Creeper


Nara And Claira Levitates
There is only so much patience kids have for watching birds.  They found some art and started jumping.

Claira Learning To FlyClaira Meditates While Nara Levitates
 

I have a bit of a big lens and it makes you sensitive to the behaviour of other people with big lenses.  We were walking back to the entrance when we spotted two photographers shooting away on tripods.  They had spotted a Hooded Merganzer doing it's thing in a pond.  The bird has a very showy head and quickly, I joined them taking photos as this bird swam around mostly preening itself.  I was done when the bird tucked it's beak in for a sleep.

Hooded MerganzerHooded Merganzer Backlit

Hellebore In Sun

VanDusen's signature photo on their website was a bowl of cut Hellebore, many with double or more sets of pedals.  These are fancy early season flowers but you have to be a bit of connoisseur to recognize them something other than just "flowers".


Bowl Of Cut Flowers
Even finding the bowl of flowers in the garden was a bit trick.  While we were there, other people walked by, completely oblivious.  Clearly a gardener has put in a lot of working finding and growing all of these varieties - a small detail in a much larger garden.

Bowl Of HelleboreHellebore With Some Sun




Harrier Looking For Lunch
Species: Circus cyaneus (Northern Harrier)
Tags: bird, bird in flight, Iona Beach Regional Park
Hellebore With Some Sun
Altitude: 75m (246 feet)
Location: Go To...
Snow Goose In Flight
Species: Chen caerulescens (Snow Goose)
Tags: bird, bird in flight, Iona Beach Regional Park
Brown Creeper
Species: Certhia americana (Brown Creeper)
Altitude: 91m (298 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, VanDusen
Golden Crowned Sparrows On Ground
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Hellebore In Sun
Altitude: 75m (246 feet)
Location: Go To...
Hooded Merganzer
Species: Lophodytes cucullatus (Hooded Merganser)
Altitude: 77m (252 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, VanDusen
Claira Learning To Fly
Person: Claira
Altitude: 94m (308 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: levitating, VanDusen
Red Winnged Blackbird From Reeds
Species: Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird)
Tags: bird, Iona Beach Regional Park
Grinning Patch On Beak
Species: Chen caerulescens (Snow Goose)
Tags: bird, Iona Beach Regional Park
Male Annas Looking Away
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, Iona Beach Regional Park
Claira Meditates While Nara Levitates
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 93m (305 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: art, levitating, VanDusen
Nara And Claira Levitates
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 93m (305 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: art, levitating, VanDusen
Rhodo With Dew
Altitude: 91m (298 feet)
Location: Go To...
Two Juvenile Snow Geese
Species: Chen caerulescens (Snow Goose)
Tags: bird, Iona Beach Regional Park
Harrier Looking Down
Species: Circus cyaneus (Northern Harrier)
Tags: bird, bird in flight, Iona Beach Regional Park
Bowl Of Cut Flowers
Altitude: 75m (246 feet)
Location: Go To...
Ruby Crowned Kinglet Looking For Bugs
Species: Regulus calendula (Ruby-crowned Kinglet)
Altitude: 77m (252 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, VanDusen
Male Annas Side View
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, Iona Beach Regional Park
Raccoon Looking For Bed
Species: Procyon lotor (Raccoon)
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Golden Crowned Kinglet
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Bowl Of Hellebore
Altitude: 75m (246 feet)
Location: Go To...
Snow Geese Taking Flight
Species: Chen caerulescens (Snow Goose)
Tags: bird, bird in flight, Iona Beach Regional Park
Hooded Merganzer Backlit
Species: Lophodytes cucullatus (Hooded Merganser)
Altitude: 75m (246 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, VanDusen
Red Breasted Nuthatch On Douglas Fir
Species: Sitta canadensis (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
Altitude: 89m (291 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, VanDusen
Snail Exploring Arbutus
Altitude: 103m (337 feet)
Location: Go To...
Running On Bridge
Person: Claira, Helen, Nara
Altitude: 85m (278 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, VanDusen
Tags: bird(14), Iona Beach Regional Park(10), VanDusen(9), bird in flight(4), levitating(3), art(2)
People: Claira(4), Nara(3), Helen(1)

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Last Modified Saturday, April 17th, 2021 at 16:56:36 Edit
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