Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve in Pitt Meadows and Tsawwassen

On the last day of the year I was trying to add one or two more birds to my 2018 total. There were two options according to the BC Rare Bird Alert:

  1. Snow Buntings had been seen at the Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty for the last couple of weeks.
  2. There was a report for a Prairie Falcon in Pitt Meadows. It was possibly the same one I'd see there in February 2017 as per this post.
    Family Day Weekend Part 3 - Falcon good day in Pitt Meadows

I elected to try Pitt Meadows first and go to the Ferry Terminal if time permitted.

Pitt Meadows

After driving around looking unsuccessfully for the Falcon, I decided to try the Trans Canada Trail along the Alouette River. There might be a chance sighting of the Falcon along the trail.

As soon as I reached the dike, I heard the familiar song of a Meadowlark across the river. I took this long distance shot.

Western Meadowlark - Pitt Meadows, BC

A bit later, I saw something large swimming up the river. At first I thought it might be a Muskrat, but a quick google search ruled that out. I eventually came to the conclusion that it was a Harbour Seal.

Harbour Seal - Alouette River, Pitt Meadows BC

I found some old news articles that reported that Harbour Seals were coming up the river and disrupting the ecology of the area.

The Common Goldeneye is more appropriate for this river.

Common Goldeneye - Alouette River, Pitt Meadows BC

This Gull was taking it easy in the sunshine.

Glaucous-winged Gull - Alouette River, Pitt Meadows BC

You won't see too many dogs in my posts, but this one was impossible to resist. It was rolling on the pavement, trying to cure an itchy back.

This went on for about a minute and then it resumed its normal posture.

I saw a few Kingfishers while driving around looking for the Falcon. They were on the phone wires scanning the irrigation ditches below.

Belted Kingfisher - Pitt Meadows BC

I always find it interesting that the male is less colourful than the female. The female has some brownish-orange on its breast while these males just have the blue band.

Belted Kingfisher - Pitt Meadows BC

I finally found a falcon shaped bird perched on a tree in a nearby yard, but it was facing away from me. I took a few shots and hoped I could identify it at home. And although I always love to see them, I was disappointed to determine it was likely a Peregrine Falcon.

Peregrine Falcon - Pitt Meadows BC

Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty

I thought it would be a long drive from Pitt Meadows to the ferry terminal, but it went by quickly on the South Fraser perimeter road. There is a pull-out along the causeway where people can park for short sight-seeing stops. 

I went looking for the Snow Buntings but did not see them on the ground or in the air. My trip was not totally wasted as I found some Brant geese there. I always like to see these elegant looking birds with their white feather necklaces.

Brant - Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty - Delta BC

Brant - Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty - Delta BC

So ended my birding adventures in 2018. I'd be at it again on New Year's day, but that will be in a 2019 blog.

I will be posting my Best of 2018 review fairly soon. I'll pick my favourite photos for each month of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment