A highlight of my visit to British Columbia (apart from the plants) was to experience springtime birds in a different part of the world, and most species I hadn’t seen before. There are two albums below plus some videos showing a selection of pictures taken with my handheld Panasonic DNC-TZ80 which has an amazing zoom…
Many of the pictures in the first album from Victoria are taken from my fantastic Airbnb room which overlooked the harbour!
See further down for an album from Vancouver (mainly in the fabulous Stanley Park).
At the bottom are several videos for your entertainment including Pileated woodpecker, Rufous-sided towhee, two squirrel species, bald eagles, American wigeon, Great blue heron, Northwestern crow, American robin, White-crowned sparrow, Red-winged blackbird, Northern flicker and American goldfinch
Having a day and a half free in Vancouver before travelling to Quebec, I was keen to visit Stanley Park again! I first visited this remnant old growth forest right next to downtown Vancouver back in the late 80s and was so impressed that they had deliberately left dead trees standing and trees where they had fallen…this is what makes this place so special and rich in wildlife as these pictures taken in a 3 hour walk in the park show. I’ve also included some pictures taken in the UBC Botanical Garden (amazing to look up and see a pair of bald eagles sitting atop a tree in the middle of the garden) and also the Van Dusen botanical garden, both of which I visited on one day!
..and now some videos.
First, a drumming Northern flicker:
A downy/hairy woodpecker at Beacon Hill, Victoria
Pileated woodpecker in Stanley Park:
American wigeon, Vancouver:
Rufous-sided towhee in the UBC garden:
Hermit thrush? in Stanley Park:
Melanistic form of the Eastern Gray squirrel (introduced):
American wigeon at Beacon Hill, Victoria:
Hunting Great Blue Heron in Stanley Park:
Northwestern crow gathering nesting material:
White-crowned sparrow on cattail seed (Typha):
The catttail beds and vegetation around were teeming with birds:
My first day in Victoria and Vancouver Island, BC was a mixed one. As this was probably my only chance I decided to go to the Butchart Gardens, a one hour bus ride outside of Victoria, and rated by some as one of the finest gardens in the world. I didn’t have high expectations, but was disappointed that there were almost no plant labels (apart from the rose collection) and otherwise very few native plants as far as I could see…
The botanical highlight was walking back to my lovely Airbnb room along the 30 min long Songhees coastal path. A interpretive sign informed of the rare Garry oak (Quercus garryana) ecosystem in which both camas (Camassia), an important Native American food plant, and Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum) grew alongside Dodecatheon (shooting stars)! A couple of minutes later I saw many fawn lilies in the woods and one emerging flower stalk of Camassia (both leichtlinii and quamash grow here)!
Almost exactly a year ago, I was on the otherside of the Pacific witnessing the mass flowering of katakuri (Erythronium japonicum) in Japan: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=9121
Thanks to my long-term “virtual” friend, vegetable and fertilizer innovator extraodinaire Michel Lachaume, I have been invited by well-known Québécois farmer and author Jean-Martin Fortier to hold a seminar at the farm he manages in Hemmingford, Quebec: permaculture-inspired la Ferme des Quatres-temps for leading chefs in the area! This will probably be on 11th April!
I’m going to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to do a little mini-tour of Canada, do a bit of teaching, learning and experience early spring edibles in another part of the world in nature and gardens! Here’s my rough tentative itinerary
Arrive Vancouver 28th March
29th March – 4th April: Salt Spring Island – Victoria – Vancouver
(5th – 6th April) Halifax, NS (uncertain)
7th – 12th (Montreal – Quebec – Ottawa area) with 11th at the farm!
13th Toronto (Botanical garden?)
13th Evening flight back to Norway!