Posted by: Anne Murray | June 28, 2010

Summer birding around Boundary Bay

Sandhill Crane at Reifel Refuge by Kareem Carr

Lazuli Buntings, Willow Flycatchers, Bullock’s Orioles and Warbling Vireos…. the birds of summer are all here but it takes a bit of searching to find them.  We came across the gorgeously-bright buntings and orioles near the Boundary Bay airport. There are probably other little-searched areas of shrubby, open woodland around the Fraser delta where these birds can be found. I once found a singing male Lazuli Bunting at the Vancouver landfill. A Willow Flycatcher was singing this week on the edge of Diefenbaker Park in Tsawwassen and its strange little fitz-bew call can be heard in various odd locations around the Boundary Bay watershed.

Much more common are the bright little Common Yellowthroats with their witchety, witchety song, full-throated Marsh Wrens holding forth from the top of the cattails and buzzy, insect-sounding Savannah Sparrows, that nest on the ground in grasslands.

June is traditionally a quieter birding month around the bay, with few waterfowl and shorebirds, but looking and listening for all these song birds keeps life interesting.   I always seem to have to learn bird songs fresh every year, my memory just not keeping those complex symphonies straight. It was satisfying , therefore, to hear what I thought was a Warbling Vireo, high in a tree in Deas Island Regional Park, and then to spot the dull coloured bird warbling away above me. Just a matter of practice. Until next spring, when I have to start again.



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