Jump to content
Whatbird Community

Vancouver (maybe)


Aaron
 Share

Recommended Posts

Debating whether or not to head out to Vancouver sometime this summer (thinking maybe early-mid July) to visit a friend. My friend would be working, which means I'd have to entertain myself most of the day, so I thought I could get some good birding in.

My only dilemma is that I wont have any form of transportation to go anywhere (unless public transportation is good). Therefore, I figure I'd be walking to most areas, which would definitely limit where I could go. I'd be staying in the Kitsilano area, and looking at the map the closest parks seem to be Jericho Beach and Pacific Spirit park. Everything else seems a bit too far away to walk to, except for the scattered little community parks. I'm sure I'd be able to make him drive me somewhere further away later in the day, specifically I was hoping to make it to Stanley Park again, but we'll see.

I haven't done too much ebird sleuthing, but the lists I've seen haven't impressed me much. The amount of hotspots also dilutes the bird species and checklists to specific areas within one park, so hard to get a good idea of what exactly to expect. 

I have quite a few target species, as I'm missing every west coast bird except for pigeon guillemot and pelagic cormorant--but I'd like to see those again. I was hoping to specifically target ocean birds, but seems like I'd have to come in the Winter/fall to see most of those and it doesn't seem like most would be viewable from land anyways.

Lifers would be:

  1. Bushtit
  2. Anna's Hummingbird
  3. Short-billed Gull
  4. Bewick's Wren
  5. Black-throated gray warbler
  6. Caspian Tern
  7. Red-breasted sapsucker
  8. Hutton's vireo
  9. Purple Martin
  10. Virginia Rail
  11. Brandt's Cormorant
  12. Black Oystercatcher
  13. Barn Owl 
  14. Mute Swan
  15. Brant

And many more, specifically any ocean-related bird, but this list appears to be the most likely around July according to Merlin.

I know a few members live there, and I'm sure some have visited before. Just wondering how likely I could see those birds around Kitsilano or if I have to venture further out, or if there's any specific area that I should try to make it to and so forth. Also sorta wondering if it would be wise to bring my 7dmii, or if I should leave it at home and bring my P600 for record purposes. Not sure how safe it is there carrying a big camera around alone. The date I have is flexible to an extent, as I'm leaving to the Maritimes in early August, and then I'd like to be in Alberta for the warbler migration. So If not July, I could plan to come out in mid-September or anytime after that if that's a better time for birding--though I think the summer would be more fun for non-birding activities. 

Trying to convince myself to go, but don't want to get stuck there bored most of the day with nothing to do but look at the same old birds I've seen a hundred times or if my plan to walk everywhere turns out to be unfeasible 😂. Though, I'm sure if I don't make it there this year, I'll be heading that way sometime in the future. I used to go there almost yearly, but haven't been there for quite some time now. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Is a rental bicycle an option?

Oh maybe, that’d be I good idea.  I’d have to look into it more, I haven’t really given this trip too much thought instead of “hmmm birds?”
I know my city has rental scooters, so I’m sure those are probably there and clearly a way cooler way to get around town than a bike 😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry @AaronI've got two sick kids right now, didn't get to this last night. There's probably a way of getting a rental scooter or bike but I would just be googling those so you can do so just as well. Evo mentioned above is one way car share that will get you to some but not all places (city of Vancouver and North Van only) without just hanging onto the car. The good news is that transit is quite good here, but not to all the places you'd be looking at going. More on that later.

Best news here is that Jericho is a great hotspot, with ocean/forest/meadow/pond habitats in it. Migrants here seem to follow the coastline so it's a pretty good spot. You'll get Anna's and Bushtits down the street from wherever you're staying in Kits, and Jericho should get you Bewick's Wren. It's as good a place as any to try for the warbler although I don't know about seasonality on that, and a good place for Short-billed Gull too although it's a bit early for them to be here in any numbers. If that's walkable from home it's a great starting point as really it's a nice place to go through casually. Also be sure to bring carrots to feed the bunnies in the park.

Stanley Park is also great. It's probably the best place to look for sapsuckers without going over to North Vancouver. I've seen them a bunch in trees around the rhododendrons beside the golf course, by second beach. Walking along the trail there to/from lost lagoon is nice, and the forest trails have lots of stuff in them. Getting out onto the seawall around the point gives you good views out into the ocean where there can be rafts of birds, but these are again quite seasonal and I don't know how good July will be. There are lots of places to rent bikes/ebikes etc just outside the park that you could use to get around if you wanted to.

I'd suggest looking at Maplewood Flats hotspot in North Van. It's a really good place to go, generally, and they have nesting boxes and a good population of Purple Martins. You can take an Evo to close to there, but you may have to walk a ways to find one for a return trip. It's about 90min to get there on transit

For most of the aquatic stuff you're going to need to get down to either Richmond, Delta, or Boundary Bay. Of these the easiest without transport is Iona Beach. If you can arrange a bike or a scooter this is really easy: get to the SkyTrain, go to Templeton station, and it's 5km to the park directly from there. The basic transit math is that buses within the city of Vancouver are frequent, SkyTrain is frequent, buses down anywhere interesting from the SkyTrain are very infrequent. So Iona is good because it's easily accessible without that second bus. There are other Richmond hotspots that will be similar but that seems to be a key one.

If you end up having access to a vehicle for a day I'd suggest looking at Colony Farm, and just generally looking at the hotspots along boundary bay as I'm not sure which are the key ones. Maybe this one is a good start. Roberts Bank and Tswassen ferry terminal jetty are others to look at, as well as Reifel Bird Sanctuary (which requires prebooking up to three days in advance).

TL;DR Jericho is great, let me know if you have specific questions. This is probably a good resource for much of this as well. https://birding.bc.ca/regions/vancouver/

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a couple of things I should add. First, Vanier Park is another nice Kits hotspot if you happen to be there. Not worth going over something else.

Second, tide timing is important for the sites around boundary bay as it's quite a long mudflat when the tide is out. Also important for Iona but i think you want low tide there for access to one of the jetties. The website I linked above should have details on all this. Let me know if you want more details on any of the sites as I have this book: https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Birder_s_Guide_to_Vancouver_and_the.html?id=tkwxjgEACAAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/25/2022 at 2:09 PM, PaulK said:

There's a couple of things I should add. First, Vanier Park is another nice Kits hotspot if you happen to be there. Not worth going over something else.

Second, tide timing is important for the sites around boundary bay as it's quite a long mudflat when the tide is out. Also important for Iona but i think you want low tide there for access to one of the jetties. The website I linked above should have details on all this. Let me know if you want more details on any of the sites as I have this book: https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Birder_s_Guide_to_Vancouver_and_the.html?id=tkwxjgEACAAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y

 

Thanks for all the great info! No need to apologize, my attendance on here has been a bit spotty the last few weeks so I didn’t even notice.

I’ll definitely look into the hotspots and locations you mentioned. Good to know that Jericho is good, as that’s definitely the closest park, so I could see myself getting there Early in the day and going from there.

July and early August are definitely my least favourite times to bird, so I’m sorta thinking that perhaps September would be the better option as it should still be warm out and it’d probably be more likely that i’d see more of my targets. As most of my likely July lifers seem to be residents and I might get Purple Martin out East or I could look for them here, so not really too many ‘summer only’ birds that I’d miss out on….

I’ll know sometime this week if I’m heading out there or not in July. Once I actually decide when I’m going and finalize some dates then maybe I’ll ask you some more specifics!
 
 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...