Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
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 Post subject: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 20 12:41 am 
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I went to Ambleside Park yesterday. It was my first time here so I wasn't too familiar with where to find birds. There were rafts of Barrow's Goldeneye near the piers
ImageBarrow's Goldeneye Male & Female by Frank Lin, on Flickr

I was hoping to find Harlequin Ducks. I thought I didn't see them until I went home and checked my photos and found "Waldo" in a photo I thought had only Barrow's Goldeneyes. Unfortunately I only saw the Goldeneyes in my photos at the time and thought I should go to the other side of the park to find the birds. I was also a bit paranoid as I forgot my second camera battery and this one had 2/3 bars left.

Image

Find Waldo! by Frank Lin, on Flickr


This Gull (Glaucous-winged or Western hybrid?) thought he wouldn't be spotted among the decoys in the playground at John Lawson Park. He few away shortly afterwards.
Image

"You can't see me!" by Frank Lin, on Flickr

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Here's some Marbled Murrelets. Poor shots but my first time seeing this fascinating species.
Image

Marbled Murrelets, Ambleside Park by Frank Lin, on Flickr

Album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/frankyboy ... 6965510514

Hope to get better photos next time

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 20 10:53 am 
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Very cool Frank, I like all those Barrow's Goldeneye in your shot.

I hope you get your wanted shot of the Ambleside Harlequins. I've had some luck with them further west at the mouth of Cypress Creek.

Your gull is a Glaucous-winged.

Congrats on your lifer Marbled Murrelets!

Cheers,
Mel

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 22 10:09 pm 
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I thought the gull might have been hybrid because the wingtips seemed a bit darker but it might just be the angle of the photo.

I went back to Ambleside today. It was sunny but also high tide so there weren't many ducks. There were quite a few male Barrow's Goldeneyes which didn't develop the crescent-shaped spot yet but had black bills, as well as buffleheads but not much else. There was what seemed to be a Eurasian x American Wigeon hybrid at the pond but the other birds seem to be American. It looked like an American Wigeon with a brown-tinted head, unlike some Eurasian Wigeons I've seen with prominent green - I was told by a waterfowl expert that the latter is not an indication of a hybrid. I didn't get to go to Cypress Creek, hope to go next time.

I decided to go to Stanley Park and there were a lot more Barrow's Goldeneyes and Surf Scoters around Second to Third Beach as the tide was starting to retreat. Wasn't far enough for me to get a close view I had last year, but I got some better shots of the Surf Scoters. No Harlequins unfortunately but I did see some black oystercatchers.

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 23 6:51 am 
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Location: north shore
Maybe we will meet one day at Ambleside, i do get out there every now and then, good work Frankie!

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 23 10:55 am 
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Hey Frank

I was there on Vday weekend and I saw that Eurasian Wigeon. I looked at him closely as he is a bit paler but I couldn't see any evidence of a hybrid. I think it's a pure one just a paler one but I could be wrong.

Glad you had a nice day at Ambleside. Are you able to get to Whytecliff Park or better yet Porteau Cove? If you go to Porteau Cove you can pretty much guarantee to see Harlequins and plenty of Barrow's and Oystercatchers. Nice day trip.

Cheers,
Mel

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 23 10:13 pm 
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Is it possible to transit to Porteau Cove? I hope to go next time but I'm going to Taiwan for the next month or so.

I'm not entirely sure of the Wigeon but it seemed to be somewhat of an outcast away from the other wigeons. The flanks were rufous like an American Wigeon but the mantle had some grey feathers. The back of the nape does seem to be more reddish like a Eurasian wigeon. It doesn't look like a stain or like the reported "rufous morph" American Wigeons. He got into a fight with one of the American wigeons as well.

Image

ImageAmerican Wigeon fights Hybrid Wigeon 4 by Frank Lin, on Flickr

More here https://www.flickr.com/photos/frankyboy ... 0702024295

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 24 12:15 am 
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Hi Frank,

That's definitely a hybrid and not the bird I saw there on Valentine's weekend who was a pure Eurasian Wigeon.

Unfortunately, there is no bus to Porteau Cove it's accessible by car only.

Have a great time in Taiwan!

Cheers,
Mel

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 25 1:46 am 
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I wasn't sure if these juveniles were Common or Barrow's goldeneyes. There were few if any adults that sunny day and high tide.

ImageJuvenile Male Goldeneyes (probably Barrow's) by Frank Lin, on Flickr

I'm still editing my Stanley Park pics, just posted Surrey Lake pics from yesterday if you see my Flickr page.

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Feb 26 4:25 pm 
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Thanks for sharing your photos. Ambleside is always a good spot.

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 Post subject: Re: Ambleside Park
PostPosted: Apr 25 11:34 am 
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Good to be finally back on the scene. I went to Ambleside in the afternoon yesterday and just a few minutes in I saw a pair of Harlequin Ducks. I'm not sure if the browner bird is a female or juvenile male.

Image

Image

Holy crab!
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Surf's up!
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Also, one Greater Scaup at the pond. Many Lesser Scaups and questionable birds later, this is the first undisputed one I've seen.
Image

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