Saturday, 17 January 2015

Birdy rocks

Being a bike-rider and a bit of a birder, I keep an annual NMT bird list.  NMT = "non-motorized transport" - so, any birds you can see within walking, cycling, skiing, paddling distance of your home.  There's an astounding variety of habitats I can reach, ranging from intertidal mudflats to old-growth forest to open alpine areas, and even, if I push it, that most prized birding habitat, a sewage lagoon. 

One of the more distinctive spots is the Grebe Islets, two rocky pieces of land visible from a cliffside park in West Vancouver.  I rode there in the fog on Wednesday, timing it miraculously so that the fog was just lifting as I arrived.  All kinds of birds proceeded to pass by or pop up from the back sides of the islets, and I could paint while I waited for them.

Today I took the long way around Stanley Park on the way home from a downtown urban-sketchers meetup.  I found 28 black oystercatchers huddled on a near-shore rock - a remarkable number of these remarkable birds.  They were unfazed by a skinny-dipping couple woo-hooing loudly into the water nearby, but a passing eagle sent them into panicked flight.  The one gull remained, with a "Uh, what's happening?" look.

No comments:

Post a Comment