A Tale of Local Port Moody Wildlife

Herons are an iconic sight around the Tri City area especially near the Colony Farms trail head area. With the demolition of the old Port Mann Bridge many conservationists according to this article: http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/202214651.html were concerned that this would harm the population of over 200 herons that call the area home.

The good news? The Noons Creek Estuary sight was the perfect spot to relocate the extra birds to expand on the local Port Moody wildlife family. Now there are roughly 17 couples settled in the area that are raising their young here.

Although there was great cause for concern, the populations are settling in now that it is 3 years after the demolition started in their original habitat space. For bird watching enthusiasts Old Orchard Park and Old Mill Site Park are great locations for hearing and watching the heron nests.

Besides the local herons, we have a wide variety of local hummingbirds that come feed close to our house at designated feeders set out for them.

Once the Port Mann area has been settled, many herons will likely resettle there.

For more information on local bird watching marvels, feel free to email us. We’d love to connect you with a group during your stay.

Your host,

Mary Ellen Hagglund

A Day in the Life of Burrard Inlet Explorers

How do you normally explore Burrard Inlet?  Have you considered the history of how Captain Vancouver scoured the coastline to settle the GVRD?  Did you know that Port Moody was an initial settlement area for the captain during his initial journeys up the coast?

Well, all of this you can find in the epic historical coffee table book on the 100th anniversary archive of our fair city.  We have a copy on a coffee table or two here at the bed and breakfast for you to peruse.

Instead of being arm chair travelers and recommend all things great to do in the area, we decided to go explore the open waters of the Burrard Inlet and do what we read about.

Tour with Burrard Inlet Tours.  Email us for groups of 8 or more to book and get picked up at the end of our dock for a glorious day of fun on the water.

Portmoodybnb.com/explore-port-moody-on-land-or-by-sea-with-some-of-the-best-guides-around

So our captain picked us up at the end of the dock and proceeded to give us a very thorough and knowledgeable tour of the seal booms, a research centre for sea lions, and all sorts of surprises along the water ways that our fair city is built around.

We managed to get to great look out points for the picturesque waterfalls along Indian Arm.  Our guide was well versed in a lot of the history and folklore that permeates the area.

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Our favourite little lookout was a stop along an island where we were shown ancient symbols from the first nations in the area who sent their boys on treks along the islands.  Researchers are still trying to recreate the original dyes from the symbols on the rocks and have yet to discover the secret sauce of natural ingredients.  The years of wear and tear have not washed away the dyes which is quite impressive.

The question remains in our minds, if they got it on, what did they use to get that early graffiti off of their hands if they accidentally spilled something?

The things you learn when you decide to get out of your arm chair and explore your very own backyard/front yard.  There is so much to see and do around here.  Stop in and we would love to send some recommendations.

Also, note, if you wish to choose a package for exploration along the Burrard Inlet, rates are subject to change based on availability, numbers and seasons.

 

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Until next adventure, your host and explorer,

Mary Ellen

Bird Watching or Bird Waiting and a Food Fight

Heron 1385494_23240512“Food Fight”—From the deep recesses of my journaling I thought I would share:

What a wonderfully, calming and delightful start to my morning, a hot cup of tea and steaming porridge in hand! I position myself either at my kitchen Bay window or my dining room table.  There, I marvel at tiny varieties of chickadees and dark eyed juncos; 5-6 feasting at a wire basket filled with suet.  Then comes the hummingbird that has stayed through the winter.  This is a first and I am pleased that this species:  Anna’s Hummingbird has found my feeder.  Each bird has its level of daring and trust of beings bigger than themselves.

The fun really heats up outside my dining room window.  The neighborhood grey squirrel that I might add is very chubby enters the scene.  I watch as he carefully climbs the bird feeder pole and does an upside-down, vertical acrobatic act to feed from the suet basket.

“Scat”…he is most bold and pretends to “shake in fear” only to wait ‘til I’m back inside.  His other trick is to jump from the hydrangea landing on another bird feeder filled with gourmet sunflower seeds and bird feed mix.  He proceeds to tip it, scattering seed everywhere.  Fortunately it wasn’t wasted as he ate from the cobblestone. The spotted Towhees ate what remained in the feeder and other species chose the spilled bits. The flurry of activity from squirrel to birds rustling in the bushes was most entertaining.

For certain it was a “food fight” before my very eyes.  As they say:  “Survival of the fittest”.

It’s easy to observe an unspoken “pecking order”. The squirrel had an unfair advantage and his size reflected his character.   I couldn’t help but share as I am realizing how prime our location is for entertaining


Birding, Bird watching or “Bird-waiting”…
What ever you choose to call the activity, I embarked on Saturday, January 18th, on my first ever bird watching hike along the Pitt River Dyke in Port Coquitlam with Nature Vancouver.  This was a true outdoor adventure that was partially cloaked in fog.  6 others joined me who was far more experienced. Two carried a telescope complete with tripod perched on their shoulder.  With experts totally familiar with local or migrant bird species, my inexperience was obvious.  They were patient and inclusive and shared their spotting and viewing of 4 majestic Eagles and beyond. I was grateful.

The Eagles were breath taking as they posed for a superb view of close ups. Every detail from the beady eyes to their hooked beak and ruffled head feathers were visible as the head pivoted side to side.

We counted Bufflehead ducks, Golden eye, Merganser, Green-winged Teal, Widgeon; half of which I was familiar and numerous crows.

I learned that identifying species is a multi-sensory skill.  They heard the call of a Sand hill crane without spotting it, likewise a Pacific Wren.  Everyone pointed their binoculars in the direction of the sound, hoping to catch a glimpse of the birds. A multitude of Canada Geese were sighted as many have wintered in the Lower Mainland this year rather than seeking warmer climes.

Living on Burrard Inlet and a nearby estuary, I am spoiled by the bird activity right out our kitchen & dining room windows.  Our guests are delighted by this at the breakfast table or lounging on our ocean front deck.

As I mentioned, this was my first experience of this kind, to hike with experts and I have much to learn.  It won’t be my last.

Happy bird watching!  As for Port Moody Bird Watching, there are lots of natural places along the trails.  Last one to the swamps with their binoculars is an egg!

Your Host and Fellow Birder,

Mary Ellen