Monday, January 27, 2014

Urban Nature: New Brighton Park, Vancouver Canada

Mid January 2014

Its been three years since I visited family here in Vancouver BC. I was born and raised here; this place is dear to me - so no culture shock really.

Of course, I am one of the few to be surprised to see Vancouver on top of the charts as *The most beautiful city in the world* or *the best place on Earth*. I think that is advertising hype really. Well, the Vancouver I grew up in plainly is not. I mean Vancouver's East Side, Skid Row, end-of-the-railroad, industrial harbour.... the southern shore of Burrard Inlet. But wait..the inlet. Its a fjord in the middle of a city, and yes there is nature here.

So, I share some shots here from my first mini evening walk down to the Inlet from my sister's house, to a park: New Brighton Park. An ambitious attempt is being made to restore a creek running through.  It was an exceptional day, the sun was out and it was amazingly warm (8 C). In a short 30 minutes I spotted 15 species of birds.

Of the birds, some notes:

It is amazing, in terms of a European context, as to how many birds are around: Over 150 Pelagic Cormorants on the Second Narrows Bridge, hundreds of NW Crows and G-W Gulls, C. Geese, and great rafts of Scaup and Scoter on the Inlet waters. A couple of Bald Eagles flew past. But the most beautiful bird for a European at this time here is the American Robin. ...Wawwoww...a tropical thrush in Northern Pacific! I was happy to see a Song Sparrow as well (for European minds it is a funny looking slightly cryptic bunting!!). Of course many alien Starlings, H. Sparrows; I was surprised to see Eurasian Collard Doves! (new arrivals, not here 3 years ago...).

Nice to be back in the harbour-side industrial part of town.

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