The lower Fraser is an incredibly rich area for biodiversity. The river, the valley and the delta combined with a mild climate all contribute to this richness. For birding, November is one of the best months; quite a contrast from the rest of Canada. Many birds from further north are able to winter in the region, while other birds remain year round. The following photos were all taken in the last week.
Short-eared owl. They have recently arrived in the region.
Sandhill crane. While there are some permanent residents, there is a migration ongoing that passes through the Fraser delta.
Tropical kingbird. Normally found in Mexico, a few migrants actually work their way north. There are reports every year or two in the Vancouver area. Definitely a rarity.
Trumpeter swans. Several thousand winter in the valley, generally roosting on small ponds and lakes at night.
American avocet. Not a common bird to see in the region in November.
American goldfinch. Most migrate but some remain for the winter.
Bushtit. A year round resident.
Snow bunting. Another winter visitor.
American bittern. Not too common and generally very difficult to spot. This one was unusually cooperative.
Spotted towhee. One of my favourite residents.
Least sandpiper. Literally hundreds of thousands of shorebirds pass through the Fraser delta, and many stay in the area for the winter.
Sharp-shinned hawk. With the loss of leaves, hawks are generally easier to spot in the winter months.
Great-blue heron. Just can’t resist taking photos of these birds, that are present in large numbers, year round.
Cooper’s hawk. Another hawk that is easier to spot in the winter.
Bald eagle. Their numbers increase dramatically in the winter months.
Ruddy duck. Again, winter is the best time to see ducks in this region.
Snow geese. These geese winter here in the thousands, migrating from Siberia.
Barred owl. Always a favourite to see!