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.