Our second trip out for the day was with a friend from Shetland to Colony Farm park. Situated on the Coquitlam river, there are great views to the snow capped mountains on one side and the Port Mann bridge on the other with a soundscape of birdsong and freight train whistles.
It didn’t take long for me to start lagging behind as I tried to get decent sightings on birds. The first is, I believe, a song sparrow – one of a vast array of New World Sparrows which are rather larger than our Old World Sparrows.
There were swallows flitting above us catching insects and a couple of them had the good grace to perch for a short while so I could see them a little more closely. The barn swallow was particularly obliging, allowing me to get close enough for reasonable photos, a task made more challenging by the fact that the branch was bouncing around in the wind.
Further along we spotted our second yellow bird of the day, this one identified as an American Goldfinch.
The absolute highlight though were the Rufous Hummingbirds. Tiny creatures who beat their wings about 60 times a second and whose hearts can beat 1200 times a minute, getting a close view of one out in the wild is a challenge indeed. This one was on the top of a tree and heavily cropped. It features a stunning ‘gorget’ – a patch of throat feathers which gleam like metal when they catch the light.