Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Bandits at 6 o clock (or should that be 3 o'clock?)

Having checked into the hotel, we set off for a quick afternoon trip into Vancouver before the full effects of jetlag set in.  Up to this point, the only birdlife we had seen were a handful of Northwestern Crows and Glaucous-winged Gulls as we made our way in the airport shuttle, though Stanley Park, an oasis on the outskirts of Vancouver was our destination in the afternoon heat.

With throngs of cyclists, joggers and roller bladers coming from all directions, Stanley Park really is not somewhere to try walking around when you are half asleep and struggling to come to terms with the fact it is 6 o'clock in the evening and not 3 o'clock in the morning as your body clock is trying to tell you.  The fact there are so many people around does make the wildlife remarkably tame, none more so than the many Racoons, dressed like highwaymen which appeared late afternoon and harrass passers by for any scraps, though they were very endearing, as was the Douglas' Squirrel eating a burger bun.

Dressed for the part

Even the local Squirrels are partial to fast food in this country

The birdlife was much like many city parks with truely wild Canada Geese and Wood Ducks also coming to look for scraps.  A Great Blue Heron fished oblivious to the many passers by stopping to photograph it with the camera phones and Glaucous-winged Gulls also posed for photos.

Great Blue Heron

Glaucous-winged Gull

Wood Duck

Other birdlife was fairly thin on the ground, though Northern Flicker, Black-capped Chickadee, White-crowned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee and a Belted Kingfisher weren't a bad start to the trip.

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