Saturday, January 9, 2010
Jan 7: Drive to the Coast
Today I left the frigid streets of Kelowna with thoughts of new birds further west. The connector was bare and the drive fairly uneventful until I reached Maple Ridge. My only new bird in that time was NORTHWESTERN CROW (Hope). In Maple Ridge I stopped in at Roger Craik's place where he had seen a WESTERN SCRUB-JAY just moment before. This bird has been in the area since last May but I thought better find it just in case it disappears! After chatting with Roger I started walking down the lane and in less than a minute I spotted the bird high in a tree. Knowing that this individual is notoriously secretive I started snapping poor photos against the gray sky. To my surprise he/she flew down to eye-level about 25 meters away before vanishing again (I've posted a couple cropped shots). One of Roger's neighbours told me his cat nearly caught the jay that morning... let's hope it's a little more careful!!! A great relief to find the bird, now it was off for the next big target: GREAT GRAY OWL.
I arrived at Colony Farm around 2:30pm and was pleased to find that the bird was still there. Burnaby birding expert Randy Findlay pointed him out roosting in the thick woods (poor record shot included). I waited around for over an hour to see if it would come out for a hunt but by 3:50pm I decided it was time to head on to Vancouver since I always hate navigating unknown neighbourhoods at night (apparently the owl came out just after I left... urg!). I racked up a few other year birds in the woods nearby including WINTER WREN, FOX SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, and HERMIT THRUSH. Staying in East Van with my good brothers Wyatt and Devin!