Lost Lagoon...lost in the fog

What a foggy day! The entire Lower Mainland is covered with a dense fog (and is explained more interestingly by Hugh of Rock Paper Lizard here). Although it adds a sense of suspense and mystery to the air, I wish I can see the blue sky predicted by the forecast.

Today I went to visit my ex-co-workers at Downtown Vancouver. Afterwards, I walked to Stanley Park to do some birding. Quite a rewarding day today in terms of the number of birds saw despite the gray weather.

Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)

Saw this lonely House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) singing loudly in a park with no one (sadly) listening.

Near the dock with the sailboats, I saw these two Pied-billed Grebes (Podilymbus podiceps). The first one is the adult and it didn't move a whole lot in the cold weather. The second one seems like a juvenile and it swam back and forth and dived several times while I was taking pictures of them.

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)

Saw this bench, and I like the writing on it.

While most of the vegetations are brown and dead-looking, there is still a hint of life from the Witch-Hazels. What a welcoming sight of yellow (or orange)!

Despite the returning of above-zero temperatures, there are still many places in Lower Mainland that still have snow on the ground (or ice on water), such as the Lost Lagoon, in which the lake is covered with a thin layer of ice with only the outer edges melted.

With the fog and ice, it is an appropraite name for the Lost Lagoon.

Neuron-like patterns on the ice, as described by Seabrooke.

What are you looking at?

One thing great about the lagoon right now is that only the outer edge is swimmable. Therefore, many otherwise hard to get-close species are now right within the view of my camera's 200mm focal length.

A female Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

And a handsome looking male Common Merganser.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) - what a maginificent looking bird beside the common Mallards.

I also saw this single male Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) swimming back and forth among the Mallards.

Another amazing sight today was the number and close proximity of the Great Blue Heron saw. These were more used to humans than the ones in Sturgeon Bank, hence, the closer-than-usual pictures.

At first, this single Raccoon (Procyon lotor) walked up to me and begged for food. Empty-pocketed, I said I was sorry.

Peacefully, it walked away.

A short distance later, I came across these three raccoons being entertained (or vice versa) by this group of weed smokers. But there were more (raccoons, I mean). On the tree above this dead log, I counted at least three more raccoons (young ones). It must be a raccoon den.

Later on, these two raccooon started to groom each other. Or making out, said by one of the smokers.

In a standing on one leg competition, I would surely lose to these masters.

The Common Goldeneye again.

Day is getting darker. Time to go home.


Bargeview said...

Great shots - quite a contrast to the deep freeze in the east. 'Liked the grebe and the Common Goldeneye. Any Barrow's Goldeneyes around?

Keep up the good work.

PSYL said...

Thanks, Bargeview. No Barrow's within the lagoon. But I am sure there are some in the waters out at sea.

I am enjoying checking out your blog on your latest feeder bird counts as well, and you have some unique sightings as well.

shan-lin said...

racoons are my absolute favourite. there's so intelligent but mischevious. just be careful though when they walk up to you in broad day light (no forest covering etc. ) they might have rabies or distemper. and don't feed wildlifes!!

on another note, how are you?

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