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What

Pacific Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina ssp. richardii

Observer

gwenlh

Date

December 5, 2017 12:30 PM PST

Description

The Harbour Seals swim several kilometres upriver to catch salmon returning to spawn. At this time of year they are hunting the Chum salmon primarily, although we have seen a few Coho in the area this past week. We have had reports of as many as a dozen seals traversing the river to intercept the salmon.

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What

Cascade Oregon-grape Berberis nervosa

Observer

gwenlh

Date

July 23, 2017 02:06 AM PDT

Description

The leaves of the Berberis nervosas in this immediate area were very large and had a more oval shape than usual. They were a deep bluish green colour. I consulted with Judith Holm about this and she commented: "Near Squamish I too have seen bluish green Mahonia nervosa leaves in addition to the greener leaves in some different locations. In contrast to tall Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) whose leaves are shiny, the leaves of this species are glaucous (have a whitish or bluish waxy coating/bloom). Maybe one factor is the degree of glaucous coating that was produced? The large size of some leaves and plants this season may reflect the wet spring."

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What

Oregon grape Berberis aquifolium

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 27, 2017 02:36 PM PDT

Description

The Berberis plants in my garden grow under cedar trees and I believe they have been seeded via bird droppings. This group of plants is mostly nervosa, but in the middle I noticed the shinier leaves of aquifolium which I understand usually grows in drier climates.

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What

Cascade Oregon-grape Berberis nervosa

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 27, 2017 02:36 PM PDT

Description

The Berberis plants in my garden grow under cedar trees and I believe they have been seeded via bird droppings. Some foliage turns purplish red in the fall: it seems to me that this only happens if the plant is exposed to sun.

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What

Cascade Oregon-grape Berberis nervosa

Observer

gwenlh

Date

May 10, 2017 01:34 AM PDT

Description

The Berberis plants in my garden grow under cedar trees and I believe they have been seeded via bird droppings. The blooms look like tiny daffodils when viewed close-up.

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What

bigleaf maple Acer macrophyllum

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 23, 2017 01:32 PM PDT

Description

Beginning of fall colours.

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What

House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 23, 2017 09:00 AM PDT

Description

This young bird approached me this morning as I was putting out feeders. He looked like he was very recently fledged and I was surprised to see the pink markings of a male on such a young bird. Such a young bird so late in October seems unusual. I understand that some species have second clutches if the food supply is good but this seems late even for a second clutch.

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What

Western redcedar Thuja plicata

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 3, 2017 08:19 PM PDT

Description

Fall colours on the BC coast

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 19, 2017 12:50 PM PDT

Description

The black form of the Eastern Gray Squirrel is more common than the grey in our neighbourhood, but we regard all forms as invasive. They have spread through our area since having been introduced in Vancouver in 1914. I do not know about the impact on native plant species, but I do see the interaction between the black squirrels and our native Douglas Squirrels. The larger blacks drive the native squirrels away from preferred food sources.

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What

Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

November 21, 2016 02:00 PM PST

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What

American Black Bear Ursus americanus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

May 31, 2017 10:00 AM PDT

Description

We most often have bears in our yard in spring when natural food sources are not plentiful. This bear looked like a yearling, in its first season without its mother.

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What

Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca

Observer

gwenlh

Date

January 12, 2013 01:30 PM PST

Description

I understand this is the largest sparrow we see in this area. We sometimes have them in our yard for the Christmas Bird Count.

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What

Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius

Observer

gwenlh

Date

March 2, 2014 02:37 PM PST

Description

When it gets cold and snowy the Varied Thrushes visit our back yard. They often copy the other birds at our feeders. This one had been trying to eat at our suet feeder and then decided to take a break and rest on our porch railing.

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What

Western Toad Anaxyrus boreas

Observer

gwenlh

Date

July 1, 2011 05:21 PM PDT

Description

A biologist friend identified this as a PCF (Pacific chorus frog) which I understand is the same as the Pacific Tree Frog. It and 4 others ended up in my garage after I brought in a pile of tree clippings from a dogwood. I searched the garage to make sure I'd found all and released them. Since then I have not seen any in my garden.

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What

Purple Finch Haemorhous purpureus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

June 3, 2017 03:11 AM PDT

Description

These finches nest near our yard every summer.

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What

European Starling Sturnus vulgaris

Observer

gwenlh

Date

May 31, 2012 05:59 PM PDT

Description

Originally I suggested that this is a Swainson's Thrush, and several members of the Community identified it as a juvenile European Starling. Thanks to the helpful link Bridget Spencer posted I can now see why the starling id made sense to people. I consulted with Chris Dale, our local birding expert who is also a neighbour, and his reply was "Judging by the mask across its eye and the slight streaking on the breast I would guess it is an immature Cedar Waxwing." With the under chin so pale I wondered about it being a Bohemian Waxwing, but their breeding range looks to be north of us. Waxwing seems like a reasonable option: too bad we can't see the tail!

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What

White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys

Observer

gwenlh

Date

May 1, 2012 04:46 PM PDT

Description

We have seen these every spring consistently at our feeders. For the past 3 years they have nested in our hedge.

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What

Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea

Observer

gwenlh

Date

March 15, 2012 11:38 AM PDT

Description

Flocks are sometimes reported in the Estuary during the winter. We had a small flock at our feeders for a few days and have not seen them since.

Photos / Sounds

What

Audubon's Warbler Setophaga coronata ssp. auduboni

Observer

gwenlh

Date

May 1, 2012 04:43 PM PDT

Description

We seldom see warblers at our feeders. This one stayed for 2 days, feeding at the suet. (We normally stop feeding suet a bit earlier in the year to help avoid attracting bears.) Apologies for the quality of the photos: together they show the distinctive characteristics.

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What

Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

April 11, 2017 10:00 AM PDT

Description

We have feeders at the front and back of our house. The females often prefer to feed at the quieter front of the house. The males arrive on or about March 26 each year and the females one or two weeks later.

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What

Common Raccoon Procyon lotor

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 10, 2017 05:36 PM PDT

Description

These two juveniles were closer in size than they appear in this photograph. The one on the left seems to be making himself look bigger. They came to our kitchen deck at dusk with their mother - likely looking for food.

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What

Common Raccoon Procyon lotor

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 10, 2017 05:36 PM PDT

Description

This mother came to our kitchen deck door at dusk with 2 young. The way they behaved suggests someone in our neighbourhood is feeding them. Hmm. I feed birds - in absolute terms some people feel I'm also doing wrong.

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What

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

June 3, 2017 03:11 AM PDT

Description

This bird doesn't usually visit our area on the west coast. We saw one individual in January 2014 and understand that one was seen in 2006. The bird was seen and id verified by local birding expert Chris Dale.

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What

Pine Siskin Spinus pinus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 7, 2017 05:41 PM PDT

Description

Side and rear view of 2 Siskins perched near a feeder.

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What

American Goldfinch Spinus tristis

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 5, 2017 03:48 AM PDT

Description

We had a small flock of these birds for a couple of days. At first I thought they were juveniles but then I concluded that this is winter plumage.

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What

White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 5, 2017 01:44 AM PDT

Description

We had White-crowned Sparrows nesting in our hedge this year. The adults and 5 other young have left and this one juvenile appears to be flocking with our winter resident flock of 15 dark-eyed juncoes.

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What

Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 3, 2017 03:50 AM PDT

Description

Scruffy looking juvenile.

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What

Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 3, 2017 10:31 PM PDT

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What

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 3, 2017 08:19 PM PDT

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What

Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri

Observer

gwenlh

Date

October 3, 2017 07:23 PM PDT

Description

We see these birds year round at our feeders. In fall, however, their numbers increase and they are truly winter residents. The turquoise stripes on the forehead develop with adult plumage.

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