Monday, January 25, 2010

Maplewood Flats

On Sunday, Bill, Black Jack and I drove to Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver for a second visit. The first, a few months ago, was in pouring rain, and yielded not even one bird photo, so I guess this second outing could be called a success. Still, overall, bird sightings were few and far between. I heard bird song, even a call or two that sounded new, but most of the vocalists stayed well hidden.

Wanderin' Weeta did a recent post noting the Spring shades of yellow on her street, and I did a bit of a double take when I read it, as the predominant colour to jump out at me for most of the walk was indeed, yellow.

The day was gray, with rain threatening, but still, the golden tones showed up, even in this picture of the oil refinery across the water.

Admittedly, the yellow tones are harder to find in this next shot. But, look between the boat and the buildings behind it. Straw yellow grass. It was the tanker that caught my attention, though. The name of it is "Maersk Bering" and although it appears to be in need of a little TLC, I found some information on it that you can see at the link. Its route seems to be between Los Angeles and Vancouver, but its name implies, at least to me, that it may be doing, or have done, trips to the Bering Sea.
Back to the colour, yellow. Our walk was on a man-made path, but over the fence, much of the terrain appeared like this. Great hiding places for birds.

Lots of logs, this one fascinating, with rusted chain and frayed yellow rope.

Tree stumps with yellow moss.

Beautifully shaped driftwood on a background of yellow grass.

Little, yellow trees growing out of stumps.

Finally, just as the raindrops began to fall, a hawk in a tree. Too high up, and too far away for much of a picture, and too rainy to spend the time getting closer, but according to the caretaker at the Wild Bird Trust Centre, it is most likely a Cooper's Hawk. He drew my attention to it when It flew over the centre - at least I think it was the same hawk - about a half hour later.

Thanks to that kind caretaker, the day became more bird focused, when he allowed me into the small fenced area where bird feeders are kept, and where a variety of small birds congregate. Here, a Red-winged Blackbird.

More yellow, and a first for me (at least, since moving to BC), some Pine Siskins, I think. Even with the feeder, they were hard to catch, and the rain drops were now coming too quickly for much lingering.

I read that the female chooses her mate on the basis of the amount of yellow in the wing. Apparently, more is better.
A front view.

And, for a change of theme, some beautiful red. I love these little house finches.

I do think I see hints of yellow as the shades of red fade towards the belly.

There were even yellow flowers blooming along the porch of the cozy little bird centre, where we were warmly welcomed after our walk. The volunteer wasn't sure what the flowers were, and this picture is poor, but I think they look very much like the Forsythia Wanderin' Weeta showed in her post.

Overall, the couple of hours spent at Maplewood Flats were enjoyable. I know the birds are there. We saw pictures of all kinds of them, including woodpeckers and a Northern Pygmy Owl, on the walls of the Bird Centre. I should add that Black Jack definitely approved of the outing, happy to be with her Bill, who kept her entertained, all the while helping me search for birds. Thank you to Bill for another good day, and to you for reading about it.


  1. Love the stump with the volunteer foliage! Is that a female red-wing? Almost more interesting in it's variations than the typical showy male. And I was going to guess forsythia, too, even before I read your label.

  2. On a purely technical note, I see your pictures and comments look perfectly normal when transferred from your site to BC Blogger. Mine (on the other hand) took a strange turn, showing I have a lot to learn.

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  4. With the vivid colouring in the finches and pine siskins, I'd guess mating season is about to start. Spring is nearly here!

    I've never been to Maplewood Flats - enjoyed the tour. Thanks Carol.

  5. Thanks for the link!

    We used to visit Maplewood frequently. As well as birds, we would see deer, both adults and fawns. And from the shore, we could watch large flocks of cormorants and other water birds. We never got inside the feeder section, though.

    I miss the place; we don't travel quite as far these days.

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone.

    EvenSong, I think that blackbird may be an immature male.

    Penelope, your posts look absolutely beautiful at blogspot. I wonder if the spaces that appear on BC blogger have to do with the "frames" around your pictures. I use iphoto, and don't seem to get those frames.

    Jean.. Yes!! Spring!!

    Wanderin' Weeta, no deer this past weekend, and no cormorants either. I wonder if they're waiting for warmer temps and less rain. Maybe you're not travelling as far, but you sure are finding incredible forms of fascinating life closer to home.

  7. Thanks for your response … I actually never noticed that photos by many bloggers don’t have similar faint frames or lines. I use a PC and think iphoto is Mac software. However, I also now notice when I center my photos things seem to work out better, even though BC Blogger automatically places photos on the left.

    Through trial and error, I managed to correct the situation so it looks a little better. If it looks funny on BC Blogger, that is a good indicator to me I did something wrong at my end. :))

  8. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it