Bird Miracles in our Neighbourhood

Miraculously we were at the right time and place, to spot a rare and incredible Mandarin duck at Burnaby Lake Park in Metro Vancouver this past winter. I’m pretty sure, this is the same creature that rocked excitement to near local stardom in the news over 3 years ago.

Mandarin duck. Burnaby Lake Park, Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong

The flamboyant duck plumage marked its original habitat as Asia. Apparently they were introduced in various European countries.

Black-capped chickadee. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Becker

Judging from the other park visitors, only a few even understood this rare bird paddling among a large flock of duck companions –green-winged teal ducks.  Most park visitors  gazed at the exotic Mandarin duck and then focused long on other plainer duck breeds.  Mandarin duck seemed to be quite solitary despite being in midst of the lake’s duck kingdom.

Green-winged teal duck. Burnaby Lake Park, Metro Vancouver, BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Female wood ducks. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Female wood duck. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong

Our first time in this park was after several consecutive days of prolonged rain –some days up to 25 mm. of rain and greyness.  Judging from the variety of birds, they, like people, were snatching day’s sunny winter rays in their open water explorations.

Dark-eyed junco. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Winter moist ground still bears mossy growth. Burnaby Lake Park, Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Fox sparrow. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Northern pintail duck. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong

You would not think in a  large suburban park, there were wild mushrooms, various green luxuriant or wispy moss painting themselves over moist tree bark and branches. Signs of temperate rainforest growth peeking through watery yellow sunlight.

Spotted towhee. Burnaby Lake Park, Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Spotted towhee. Burnaby Lake Park, Metro Vancouver 2021. Photo by J.Chong

One guy, could not restrain himself from nearly shouting happily to anyone nearby to see the pilated woodpecker hammering busily for insects up in the trees. Then he would find another bird to trumpet his delight, not caring he might disturb his feathered friends.

Pileated woodpecker. Burnaby Lake Park, Metro Vancouver 2021. Photo by J.Becker

I went to this park, not expecting much from a suburban park and came away, feeling we struck gold on catching sight of several different birds we hadn’t noticed before in our area.  We hope to return, maybe later in spring or fall to see glimpse of more bird delights.

Mallard duck couple content to watch. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Fungus in temperate rainforest. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Rudder duck with pale blue beak. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Trunk ringed with moss. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Mandarin duck. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Chong
Mandarin duck. Burnaby Lake Park. Metro Vancouver BC 2021. Photo by J.Becker

 

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Jane Fritz says:

    Oh my, so much to marvel at in nature. Thanks for sharing, Jean.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      May bird inspiration carry you for rest of this month, Jane!

      Like

  2. Pit says:

    Beautiful birds beautifully captured.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Hope your spring in TX has been good so far, Pit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Slaght says:

    So many beautiful captures and the Mandarin duck such a marvel to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      We just simply walked up to see a bunch of ducks…and there was the Mandarin duck, paddling away. It seemed solo and quite independent. Hope it survives.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pit says:

    It has come later than usual, and after some terrible destruction by a severe outbreak of winter, with temps as low as -20 Fahrenheit, which left us with many broken trees [https://wp.me/p4uPk8-3ln], but also with a winter wonderland [https://wp.me/p4uPk8-3kK].
    Happy Easter to you,
    Pit

    Like

  5. Lani says:

    So beautiful! ❤ That Mandarin duck is unreal! Lucky sighting indeed. But I love all the bird photos, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Only slowly in the past 2 years, I’ve started noticing birds. I’m sure there are some cool ones where you are now.

      Liked by 1 person

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