Birding, March 11, 2023 (Piper Spit and Colony Farm)

Let’s try something new! And by “let’s” I mean me because ain’t no one else writing this.

Most Saturdays I go birding with Nic. Starting with this post, I’ll recount each birding outing: Where we went, the conditions, some photos (of course), and what we saw.

And now, the inaugural entry:

Where: Piper Spit (Burnaby Lake Regional Park), Colony Farm Regional Park
Weather: Cloudy, occasional drizzle, around 8ºC

The Outing

The forecast was not looking great–about a 50-60% chance of showers, but apart from a few drops here and there, the rain held off, and the sun even tried to come out a few times. It was breezy both at Piper spit and Colony Farm, so it felt a little cooler than the actual 8ºC.

We encountered a fairly significant number of birds heading from the dam to Piper spit, including a rare sighting of a varied thrush dining out on a tree stump normally occupied by squirrels. We also saw some kinglets, but alas, I was unable to get any shots beyond “this blurry butt is definitely on some kind of feathered creature.”

At the spit, we saw the usual crowd, but also what might have been a hermaphrodite mallard, showing both female and male characteristics. The giant flocks of seagulls were down to just a few this time, though I’m unsure why, and the number of dowitchers was also down, though they were in their usual (current spot) just west of the pier.

At Colony Farm we observed blackbirds possibly gathering nesting material, but the biggest surprise there came at the very end, in one of the small creeks: a muskrat. I can’t remember the last time I saw one.

The Shots

Mallards minus heads
Chickadee ready to spring
Dark-eyed junco in repose
Northern pintail close-up
Muskrat munching
Anna’s hummingbird in silhouette

The Birds (and other critters)

All birds seen at Piper spit unless otherwise noted.

Sparrows and sparrow-adjacent:

  • Varied thrush (rare)
  • Golden-crowned kinglet (rare)
  • Ruby-crowned kinglet (rare)
  • American robin
  • Anna’s hummingbird
  • Blackbird
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Golden-crowned sparrow
  • Hooded merganser (Colony Farm)
  • Song sparrow
  • Spotted towhee


  • American coot
  • American wigeon (Colony Farm)
  • Bufflehead duck
  • Canada goose
  • Gadwall (Colony Farm)
  • Great blue heron
  • Green-winged teal
  • Lesser scaup
  • Long-legged dowitcher
  • Mallard
  • Northern pintail
  • Wood duck


  • Crow
  • Pigeon
  • Seagull


  • Red squirrel
  • Gray squirrel
  • Muskrat (Colony Farm)

A few photos from birding, October 8, 2022

First, the weather was crazy–25C and sunny, so sunny that if I hadn’t put on sunblock I’m sure I would have burned. This is very strange for the second week of October.

We hit Burnaby Lake and Colony Farm, but did extended tours of each and saw plenty of birds and other assorted critters, including a snake and coyote (alas, we could not get shots of either in time).

Here are a few shots of the million (well, 500+) I took.

The coot is ready for its close-up.
Duck feeding frenzy.
Eagles flying directly toward us, and then overhead.
Grebe in the late afternoon sun, at Colony Farm.

Birdtopia: Rocky Point Park, Colony Farm and Burnaby Lake

We did a triple-header today and saw a bunch of birds. Here are a few, from the super common to one I’ve never seen before.

As the crow flies.
Goose, goose, goose, goose.
The best shot of a killdeer I’ve gotten yet. They do not actually kill deer.
This gull went into full “Look at me!” mode and stayed that way for quite a while.
Shine on, you crazy wood duck.
And the new bird, a green heron! It acted very heron-like but is much smaller than the blue herons we normally see here.
Bonus shot of the green heron.

Toodling around Colony Farm Regional Park

Nic and I went to Colony Farm Regional Park looking for birbs and getting steps.

We accomplished both. Since I am using an iPhone 8 for my photos and its zoom capabilities can be summed up as “lol” I have no pics of birds to share.

But I do have a snail.

Here are some of the things I deemed worthy of taking pictures of.

Coquitlam River
Coquitlam River, looking south, with one of the spans of the Port Mann Bridge visible.
Spiky pink balls
Invasive but pretty tansy. These things grow in copious quantities along one of the trails.
The promised snail, happily sliming it up.
Man taking photo of man taking photo. Nic is wearing typically bright male plumage.
Marshland with technology lurking in the background.
Flowers of undetermined origin (I’ll edit this later when I’m not feeling lazy).
More tansies