John Harvey Photo

April 2016Go to Slide
            Show

Spring means busy


Queen Elizabeth Park

Annas On Moss Lichen Nest
When the kids go to Gymnastics I used to walk around Queen Elizabeth Park looking for birds - mostly Barred Owls [November, January].  Sunset was around 5pm so it was a good time to see owls and I managed to see them on a number of walks.  Fast forward a month, and an hour time change and it's far from dusk and the park is swarming with people looking at the daffodils and tulips.  I was pretty sad having walked for most of my 45 minutes only seeing mallards and crows when I heard a hummingbird.  After some hunting, it turned out to be an Anna's Humingbird on it's nest.


Cherry Blossoms Photo Walk

Bob was liked the idea of going for a photo walk (he is involved with other photo walks other than work) so we picked a theme (Cherry Blossoms) and asked if anyone at the office wanted to go.  Zero affirmative replies.  Bob and I went regardless.

Cherry Blossom Tunnel On TenthBiking Through Cherry Blossom Intersection
There are something like 14 species of cherry blossom trees in Vancouver but you can simplify that into two groups - those that blossom early (generally for only a week or two in early March) and those that blossom late (generally for about 4 weeks until mid to late April).  The early trees were gone, but there are still lots of locations that have the late blooming trees.  My bike route to work has some so we stopped there first to take in some trees.


 
Cherry Blossom Sun FlareCherry Blossom House With Ghost Biker

Cherry Blossom With Frank Stanzl BuildingCherry Blossom In Front Of Downtown
Next we stopped in Fairview to get some Cherry Blossoms with city views.  I had a shot from a few years ago in mind but those trees were done.  We found some trees looking towards downtown, but I actually liked the view toward the Frank Stanzl Building more.  I learned a new world - Brutalist - that describes they style of architecture.  The word and the building works well with the organic flowers.



Soft Blossoms At Stanley Park
Burrard street skytrain station has some nice cherry blossoms, but they were all done by the time we drove past.  We went to Stanley park to see the cherry blossoms next to the Rose Garden, but sadly they were all done as well (save one tree).  We did a quick drive around the seawall and found one lonely tree.  The light was poor for backgrounds but the skylight (blue light) made for a nice soft portrait.  A fitting end for the day.  Thanks Bob for driving and all the suggestions!



QE Park Again

Now that I know where a nesting hummingbird is, I really wanted to go back and visit again!  Saturday rolled around and I walked right up to where I found it last time - hummingbird is still there watching people go by, completely hidden in plain sight. 

Annas On NestAnnas Returned To NestAnnas Feeding Chick
 
I visited again a week later - no nest, no feathers, nothing.  I was quite sad.  I don't know if the nest fell to predators, fell off or was outgrown and there are two small hummingbird babies out there.  Good luck hummingbirds!

Birding Walk at Iona

I'm a member of Nature Vancouver so I decided to try out a birding walk at Iona park.  I've been to Iona park before but I didn't have much luck.  Turns out there is much more to see off the jetty:

Rufous Hummingbird Landing

There are a number of different subspecies of "birders".  Your most common birder is the binocular and scopes kind - they generally want to see a large number of species, even if there sightings are very far away.  These people often have excellent bird identification skills - even a marginal sighting at a far distance can be identified. 

Common YellowthroatTwo Osprey And A Bald Eagle

I've done a few walks the "binocular" style birders - I have a lens that can just barely keep up with binoculars and is poor compared to a good spotting scope.  I find the photos are often of small birds far away, but you often see behaviour and species I'm not familiar with.  It's challenging to keep up with, but the rewards are certainly present.


Swallow Inspecting Birdhouse
The second kind of birder if the photographer.  They generally have big lenses and often have tripods.  They are more concerned with birds that are close - 20 meters or less.  The birds are generally more common, but being so close you get a lot more appreciation of details.  Obviously I fall into this catagory, but on the Nature Vancouver walk I wasn't alone.  Roughly four members of the twenty people out were clearly photographers.

Two Tree Swallows On Bird BoxImmature Female Tree Swallow

Red Wing Blackbird In Red Elderberry
There are other kinds of birders, but they seem to be rarer.  I've seen people that are very good with bird calls - can pick out a species out of a cacophony of background noise.  I've seen biologiest - mist netting and banding.  I'm sure there is more.  The only way to discover more is more birding walks!


Flight Path Park

 
Nara Claira And GrandmaClaira Biking With Her Tongue Out
Flight Path Park is the perfect combination of close to picnic friendly lunch places, enough free parking spots and empty picnic benches.  The kids can ride their bikes without the fear of getting hit by a car and there is lots of planes going by to keep their attention.  We stopped for lunch and the kids had a good time.

Nara Coming Down The Hill

Riefle Bird Sanctuary

Claira Read To Run AwayNara With Her Hat
Helen was working this weekend so outings need to play double duty. I want something fun to do but the kids need to be entertained. Riefle hits those points - the kids like to feed the ducks and when they are busy, I can take photos. And there is a picnic at the end! What isn't to like?

Feeding The Ducks

 Tree Swallow On Old Nestbox
I was hoping to see baby ducks and other baby behaviour.  It seemed a bit too early for baby ducks - we only saw a few mallard chicks, but a lot of birds were building nests.  A few Canadian geese were sitting on their nests which the kids seem to enjoy seeing.   I like to see the house sparrows building their nests in the building rafters - it was cute to see both the males and females working together on a project.  The sandhill cranes had their nesting island staked out (and keep out signs were posted) but there wasn't much nesting going on yet.

Female House Sparrow Nest BuildingMale House Sparrow Nest BuildingWhite Crowned Sparrow
 
Fun for everyone - home by 1:30 and Claira is off to nap.

Finn Slough

Nara has class on Sunday mornings in Richmond so Claira and I often hang out in Richmond and wait for here class to complete.  I got word that their were native lilies blooming at Finn Slough we I set the google maps and away we went!

Claira Look Left

Claira Walking Over Bridge At Finn Slough

Claira hasn't been to Finn Slough before and I completly forgot that the bridge didn't have railings.  Claira did well but I didn't feel comfortable letting her run around while I slowly took photos of flowers.  Of course once the iPhone and Movies came out, she was happy to sit still while I took photos.  The lily's are quite diminutive - easy to overlook.  They appear to have just started blooming.

Kamchatka LilyKamchatka Lily With PollenSinner Plate Island School With Eva

Finn Slough was in it's regular state of repair/disrepair.  People were actively working on improving buildings, but there is a lot of assets in advanced state of disrepair.  It was pointed out that Finn Slough isn't boat worthy - it hasn't been dredged in a very long time.  I'm curious how services like water and sewage work here.

Crabbing at Sandheads

  Rays Through The Holes In The Clouds
My friend Scott owns a boat and from time to time he needs people to join him so he can use the HOV lane and ballast the boat.  I've wanted to go a few times, but I was finally able to make it happen.  Overall the plan is pretty simple - leave the office at 4pm, on the boat by 5pm and motor down the Fraser river to the Sandhead lighthouse, take a right and drop crab traps.  Wait about 40 minutes and pull up the crab traps.  Drive past the Sealions on the way back and back in the marina before night.


Sandheads Lighhouse With Barge And Tugboat
The Fraser river is busy with industrial traffic so we spent much of the trip looking at barges loaded with trailers and rail cars, big ships hauling lumber to mills and car carriers.  I was quite surprised to see Sandheads lighthouse.  The last time I saw it, it was a building that had people inside - now it's automated.




  Undersized Dungeness CrabFirst Trap Hauled Up
Scott bought some chicken at lunch and had three traps on board.  We assembled the traps, put some bait in the bait bags and dropped the traps overboard with a long line attached (roughly 25 to 50 feet of water).  After the traps were down (and their positions noted on the GPS, we enjoyed the view and Scott's upgraded stereo system.  Picking up the traps is pretty easy - Scott drives by and we hook the line with a gaff hook.  We haul the rope up and found generally about 7 crabs in each trap.  Each crab has to be sized and sexed - most went back overboard because they were two small - I think we took home six keepers.


Steller Sea Lion Sticking Its Tongue Out
After crabbing, we drove by the rock jetty (which helps keep the Fraser river flowing in a navigation friendly direction) and watched the Steller Sea Lions.  They aren't very active (apparently they mostly feed at night) but from time to time a large male will rise up to look around.

Sealion Swimming BySealions Resting On The Rocks

We took the long way back, threading through some of the smaller islands in the Fraser River.  The larger channels are lined with house boats and fish packing plants.  The smaller channels look like great kayaking day trips.

Sweet Spot HouseboatKepler PortaitScott Navigating To Home


Scott parked the boat, killed the crabs and we were on our way back home.  Thanks for a great evening Scott!

Nara's Birthday Party

Nara At The Playground
This year we booked Nara's birthday at The Adventure Zone in the Kids Market at Granville Island.  The Adventure Zone has a multi-story playground with attached party rooms for snacks and cake.  For the most part, the kids know what to do - most have been before or have a sibling inside and they just copy.  Our booking was 10am until noon - the Kids Market also opens at 10am so it's basically door open, start playing!  We walked down and were a few minutes early so we started playing at the outdoor playground so Nara was warmed up before the formal event.


The party was broken into three parts - play at the playground, get some cake, juice and vegetables, play some more.  The kids seemed fine with this format.

Claira At The Top Of The SlideMarcus Coming Out Of The SlideJames Coming Down Slide
 
Nara has just turned six and a lot of her peers are "drop off kids" - the parents go shopping for an hour or two while the kid are okay.  Taking care of 16 kids is a bit of an ask - we actually lost one.  Not really lost - when we gathered up the kids to have snack and cupcakes, we forgot one kid in the playground.  The playground is mildly supervised (staff at the gate) so she could have asked to come out, but never did.  We only figured it out in the second play period.

Cupcakes With SprinklesNara With Her CupcakeEric And Xander Eating CupcakeAbby Lost Her Bottom Teeth

With more than a dozen kids, the kids seemed to find partners and play together on various missions.  A favorite was to take the balls from the ball pit to the top of the slide.

Haley ClimbingAbby Climbing With BallsClaira Climbing
 
Thanks everyone for joining us!
 
 
 

 


Scott Navigating To Home
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Eric And Xander Eating Cupcake
Person: Eric, Xander
Claira At The Top Of The Slide
Person: Claira
Tags: play gym
Kamchatka Lily
Species: Fritillaria camschatcensis (Northern Rice Root, Kamchatka Lily)
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Finn Slough, flower
First Trap Hauled Up
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Cherry Blossom House With Ghost Biker
Red Wing Blackbird In Red Elderberry
Species: Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird), Sambucus racemosa (Red Elderberry)
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Swallow Inspecting Birdhouse
Species: Tachycineta bicolor (Tree Swallow)
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park, nest box
Claira Biking With Her Tongue Out
Person: Claira
Altitude: 14m (45 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara With Her Hat
Person: Nara
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Cherry Blossom With Frank Stanzl Building
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Brutalist architecture, building, cherry blossoms, Vancouver
Kamchatka Lily With Pollen
Species: Fritillaria camschatcensis (Northern Rice Root, Kamchatka Lily)
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Finn Slough, flower
White Crowned Sparrow
Species: Zonotrichia leucophrys (White-crowned Sparrow)
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Reifel Bird Sanctuary
Sealions Resting On The Rocks
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Read To Run Away
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Cupcakes With Sprinkles
Immature Female Tree Swallow
Species: Tachycineta bicolor (Tree Swallow)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Biking Through Cherry Blossom Intersection
Altitude: 34m (111 feet)
Location: Go To...
Abby Lost Her Bottom Teeth
Person: Abby
Undersized Dungeness Crab
Sweet Spot Houseboat
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Two Tree Swallows On Bird Box
Species: Tachycineta bicolor (Tree Swallow)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park, nest box
Claira Climbing
Person: Claira
Nara At The Playground
Person: Nara
Tags: playground
Annas Returned To Nest
Female House Sparrow Nest Building
Species: Passer domesticus (House Sparrow)
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Rufous Hummingbird Landing
Species: Selasphorus rufus (rufous hummingbird)
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Nara Claira And Grandma
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 14m (45 feet)
Location: Go To...
Common Yellowthroat
Species: Geothlypis trichas (Common Yellowthroat)
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Sealion Swimming By
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kepler Portait
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Soft Blossoms At Stanley Park
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Cherry Blossom Sun Flare
Altitude: 34m (111 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: cherry blossoms, flare, Vancouver
Annas On Nest
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
Tags: nest, Queen Elizabeth Park
Nara With Her Cupcake
Person: Nara
Tags: birthday cake
Annas On Moss Lichen Nest
Altitude: 114m (374 feet)
Location: Go To...
Sinner Plate Island School With Eva
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: boat, elevated home, Finn Slough
Steller Sea Lion Sticking Its Tongue Out
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Male House Sparrow Nest Building
Species: Passer domesticus (House Sparrow)
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Annas Feeding Chick
Abby Climbing With Balls
Person: Abby
Rays Through The Holes In The Clouds
Location: Go To...
Cherry Blossom In Front Of Downtown
Altitude: 31m (101 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tree Swallow On Old Nestbox
Species: Tachycineta bicolor (Tree Swallow)
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Look Left
Person: Claira
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, Finn Slough, panorama
Nara Coming Down The Hill
Person: Nara
Altitude: 14m (45 feet)
Location: Go To...
Feeding The Ducks
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Reifel Bird Sanctuary
Cherry Blossom Tunnel On Tenth
Altitude: 26m (85 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking, cherry blossoms, tunnel, Vancouver
Haley Climbing
Person: Haley
Claira Walking Over Bridge At Finn Slough
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, Finn Slough, panorama
Marcus Coming Out Of The Slide
Person: Marcus
Tags: play gym, slide
Sandheads Lighhouse With Barge And Tugboat
Location: Go To...
Two Osprey And A Bald Eagle
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park, piling
James Coming Down Slide
Person: James
Tags: play gym, slide
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park(7), Finn Slough(5), cherry blossoms(3), Vancouver(3), play gym(3), flower(2)
People: Nara(6), Claira(6), Abby(2), Eric(1), Haley(1), Marcus(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > April 2016

Leave a Comment

Some HTML allowed: <b>, <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>, but most isn't.  Text length is limited.  comments from first time authors will be reviewed before being posted. comments with swearing or painfully poor spelling will probably be rejected.


Last Modified Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at 22:43:41 Edit
Copyright and Contact Information.