One of the strangest things about coming to Canada these days is changing base from New Westminster to Coquitlam. We’re unbelievably lucky though to have a good friend of my mum’s who’s happy to not just host us, but also mother us, whilst we’re here. It’s also been a great opportunity to discover some new places.
My first morning here Jen, Dad and I went for a walk around the local park. Just 10 minutes down the road and marked by a typical, unassuming green square on GoogleMaps, I was totally unprepared for what we found – a 400 acre rainforest hiding just behind a shopping mall.
We didn’t even manage to set foot in the park before we spotted the first bird – a stunning little yellow chap, flitting around in an evergreen. It was very fast moving and the branches were thick, but fortunately it flew over to a smaller tree where I could get a slightly better look, and a fuzzy photo. Back at home with the bird book and the help of a Facebook group dedicated to British Columbia birds, it was identified as a Wilson’s warbler.
The park was fantastic with tall, tall trees which helped create a barrier against the street noise and plenty of decaying trunks. After the bright sunlight, the shade was very welcome.
We only explored a fraction of the park and I hope we have time to visit again before we leave. There was plenty of wildlife around, as we could tell from the birdsong, but not much that we actually managed to see – a couple American robins (unrelated to our European robins, and actually members of the thrush family) and two Eastern grey squirrels, which I must confess look slightly odd to me now after our beautiful reds back at home. There are also black bear and deer, although we didn’t see any signs of either of them.
Back outside the park, the sun was glaring and I was missing my sunglasses.
Back on our own street there were two Northern Flickers on show – stunning woodpeckers with a lovely spotted breast. Far, far at the top of a tree (remember, everything’s bigger in North America) was another American Robin singing gustily.