Biking to Paulik and Garden City Parks

It was not as sunny as yesterday but still good enough for a bike ride after lunch.

I had to pay some bills today, so I went to Garden City and visited Paulik Park and Garden City Park afterwards.

Paulik Park

Align CenterA very quiet area where you can just stand still and listen to birds sing.

Finally a sunny day - visiting Minoru Park!

I have been pretty much stuck at home since I last went out on Wednesday, besides the usual break and whatnot, due to the crappy weather.

Anyways, the clouds finally cleared away and the blue sky appeared this morning! My mother and I took the bus to Minoru Park to soak up some much-needed sunshine!

Minoru Park


Dining Out Vancouver & Visiting UBC

Today, my parents and I went out to UBC to have lunch at the Westward Ho! Public House & Grill Room. The restaurant is taking part at the annual Dine Out Vancouver event where people can try out different restaurants at relatively reasonable prices ($18, $28, and $38). This is our first time and so we decided to go for the $18 menu at this restaurant at the UBC Golf Course because of its menu (there are some pictures here, as well as a YouTube video showing the dishes). I wish I have eyes for good taking food photos, like these here by blogger Sam Lin.

We ordered all three appetizers and entrees to have a taste of everything. For appetizers, we like the Tempura Battered Scallops the most, and the lamb for the entree. The three kinds of desserts in one course is excellent too. Overall, the food was good and price was more than reasonable considering the type of food we had. The only negative thing I can think of is probably the slowish service. I probably give everything a 3/4 - good, but not over-the-top excellent.

Anyways, after lunch, I asked to be dropped off at the UBC so I can go to the library and find some research articles.

When I had enough of staring at the computer, I headed outside to enjoy the surprising nice afternoon.

UBC Revisited
UBC is a beautiful campus when you don't look at the constructions and new buildings.


Good wildlife-watching day; Bad photography day

Life sometimes like to play funny tricks on you. For example, today is incredibly cloudy and a bad day for photography, but yet I saw so many cool critters, e.g. Muskrat, lots of raptors, Mink(! - no photo). Sigh, blurry photos will still serve as a good day.

First, I saw a Muskrat eating vegetation in the ditch. First Muskrat of the year!


Thoughts of a sleep-deprived brain

Note: This will be a pictureless post, so if you are someone like me, who doesn't like long posts without any photos, please click away. This is also a very self-centered post, so no comments will be allowed for now.


It is quite amazing how your brain operates at a sleep-deprived state - when you go to sleep at midnight, trying to fall asleep despite the loud walking and guitar playing from your neighbor above you, and waking up when your father has to go to work at 4am in the morning. After that, when you want to sleep, your brain decides to work at this time of the hour and your body can't do anything except toss and turn. At this time of the day, your brain processes things strangely and it becomes quite an interesting journey of self-discovery.


Abstract photos for a strange day

In the afternoon, the sky was covered by thick clouds in the north but sunny in the south. I quickly pedaled to the library in Steveston to return some books. Afterwards, I took my time slowly pedaling back home.

Sunny in the afternoon

Like I said before, the weather forecast can't be more wrong lately. Calling for rain when it is nice out and sunny when it is raining out.

Anyways, it was raining pretty hard in the morning. Thankfully, it stopped and the sky cleared in the afternoon. Time for the much-needed bike ride and some shutter therapy.

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
The bird feeders along the South Dyke Trail (in the dog park) were dominated by the Red-winged Blackbirds. But while I was photographing, they stayed away and gave opportunities to the White-crowed Sparrows and juncos.


First lifer of 2011: Merlin

I thought it was going to rain 100% today, instead it was quite warm and springlike. Good time to go out for a long bike ride - to Terra Nova.

Towards Steveston, this Mute Swan was snoozing beside the road. Not really an ideal spot but I don't want to disturb it.

Sleepy Swan Beauty
Sleepy Swan


Short drive to the dyke

I remember taking pictures out my window yesterday morning (just after 12am) of snow falling. Today, almost all of it are gone. Not even enough time for me to go out and take some snow photos.

I drove my mom to Steveston today to the library and grocery store. Along the way, we stopped at the South Dyke Trail.

A single female Bufflehead looking...well, lonely.


Biking to Steveston

I rode my bike to Steveston on this nice Sunday. I didn't see too much wildlife so here are some photos along the way.

Curious Color of Winter
Art at Garry Point Park.


Walk Around Deer Lake Park

While my mother was in Burnaby visiting family friends, I also tagged along and visited Deer Lake Park on my own. It's a nice park - pretty natural considering all the houses and roads around it. I believe the last time I was here was for my limnology course in my last year of university, collecting some water samples in the lake, which was at least four years ago. Wow, time sure goes by quick.

I was worried that it might rain here in Burnaby during my walk, but it only did briefly at the end of the walk.

Walking through the marshy area, I saw my first hummingbird of the year!


Sunset watching

The weather finally turned better after three gloomy, rainy days.

I did another short loop around Finn Slough in the late afternoon. No birds were around to be photographed today, so instead I took photos of the sunset.

Still some clouds, but clearer than last couple of days.


Bird of the year (so far) - Peregrine Falcon!

I rode out to the dyke again today and took the shorter route of going to Finn Slough then back home.

Along the way, I saw an eagle by the nest at the end of No. 3 Road, watched dogs and dogwalkers along the dyke and listened to the Killdeers in the fields. However, nothing special stood out for me to have the urge to take out my camera and photograph the moment.

Then, I got close to Finn Slough.

Sun almost setting. Heard the weather will get nasty again (i.e. wet) for the remainder of the week.

The always dependable young Great Blue Heron that I always see around here (I think). Heard another 'look, a crane' comment today.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Crane? Where?


First bike ride to the dyke of 2011

Hope everyone is having a good 2011 so far. Yesterday, I went out for a short walk with my mom around the neighborhood. Today, I biked to Steveston and then to West Dyke Trail to watch the eagles, then back home.

I gave my new jacket and pants a test today. Very warm, I didn't even feel cold at all today - maybe because today is warmer than the last couple of days.

One of the first photos of the year - photographs of Lesser Yellowlegs at the beach across from London Farm.

Looking down below.


Last lifer of 2010 - Silver Pheasant

Quarter to 12am and 2011! Probably be 2011 by the time I finishes this post.

Originally I wanted to use my month bus pass for one final long birding day-trip (i.e. Stanley Park). In the end, I ended up going to Richmond Nature Park with my mother, and boy, did I glad I did - because I got lots of good photos as well as a final lifer of 2010!

Overall, 2010 has been a memorable year - working with and meeting new people, learning new things, absorbing new information, spending a lot time with wildlife in the outdoors and more. I hope 2011 can be just as exciting.

Now, some photos from Richmond Nature Park. First, some non-bird photos.

Lone Perfection
Just like the feeling this image provokes.

Frost on wooden fence. Wish I captured it better, but it was really neat to look at the frost close-up.
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