Boundary Bay Exploration

Explored the 12th Avenue Dyke Trail of Boundary Bay Regional Park today. Maybe I'll try the Dyke Trail next time, but it did took a while to walk and look for wildlife at the same time (with the weather permitting). I went there after low tide so I wasn't able to see the shorebirds feeding during then, or perhaps I hit the wrong area. Still, it's an impressive wildlife viewing area that I am sure I will return soon.

I read about this park from Rock Paper Lizard and Wanderin' Weeta and always wanted to pay a visit, and today gave me the perfect chance. The weather today is mostly gray and cloudy, although some blue skies could be seen southward. To me, here seems like the dykes and beaches of Steveston but with more sea birds and much larger in area.

As soon as I was there, I was greeted by a welcoming male Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) - the only kingfisher in North America, which I have never seen so up-close before. It is very noticeable with its loud and dry rattling call, and I know it's a male because of the lack of rust belly bands. I overheard someone saying that there used to be two pairs of them around, but only one left now. I also had the opportunity of watching it dived straight down into the water and came up with a small fish, what a show and such a great start!

If you look out to the sea, you will see many tiny black specks on the surface. But using a binocular, you will realize that every individual black dot is a bird out in the sea.

Can't be too sure of the species out there, but here are the identifiable ones closer to the shore: Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal (?).

Feeling naughty, I decided to flip over a couple of logs to see what are there, and I discovered many Sand Fleas or Beach Hoppers (Traskorchestia traskiana). Of course, I returned the log to its original position after I was done.

There were also many of these invasive Asian Snail (Batillaria attramentaria) on the beach. These animals hitch-hiked with the Japanese oysters brought here many years ago to recreate the oyster industry in Pacific West Coast.

Didn't saw any live crabs today, but I did saw these empty shells of: Red Rock Crab (Cancer productus) - on the right; Dungeness Crab (Cancer magister) a.k.a. Master Crab - on the left. I hope I identified them correctly.

The flowers of sand dune plants are quite pretty and standout in this gray-filled environment and day.

As I was going back home, I was greeted by the same kingfisher again. Such a well-mannered fellow. I will have to look for him again next time.

See you next time, Mr. Kingfisher!


While I was waiting for my bus going back home, a Korean tourist (named Lee) came up to me to ask the how long it takes to get to Steveston and is it worth going there. Looking up at the clouds around 4:00pm, I truthfully told him that it is not worth going to Steveston with this kind of weather and at this time. We chatted for a little bit, and Lee is apparently going back to Korea (after a week stay here in Vancouver) tomorrow morning and his friends recommended him to visit Steveston Village. He seemed to be disappointed with my answers, but that's the truth (to me, at least). So he left. But then he came back to ask to take a picture of me (with his nice looking DSLR) for memory, and I obliged. I hoped I gave him the right answers, and it was definitely an interesting moment.


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