Wednesday, 15 June 2011

One Wheel On My Wagon, but I'm Still Rollin' Along

Those Cherokees are chasing me, flamin' spears are burnin' my ears
but I'm singin' a happy song!
All Together Now

As if the readership were not already 'Jimied out, there are just a couple of items from yesterday to catch up with. Late afternoon I went to the 'Experience Music Project in Downtown Seattle, a museum representing many of the aspects of rock music, but featuring heavily 2 local lads Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Both have individual exhibitions running at the moment which was most interesting.

In the lobby a mountain of musical instruments and not to appear too long winded

2 remaining parts of Hendrix guitars

which were smashed up on stage, and his

Starburst Fender Stratocaster.

This morning I arrived in Canada and more precisely

British Colombia with little or no formalities or hold-ups at the border.

British Colombia shown on the map in oppose to the rest of Canada.

The plan today was to visit

where in 2007 Sue Hallam and I had great success, but you know I just woke up sensing that all was not going to be well today. First off, while seeking a hotel I lost one of my great 'travel companions' who has been with me to more countries than I can remember and served me well through thick and thin. A wheel dropped off of my 'back-pack' these days the pull along kind. Not only did this cost me dear trying to drag it, part wheel-less to our destination, but also cost $100 (about £66) for a new one. The weather did look a little threatening, but seemed unlikely to rain but I did wear the foul weather jacket just in case, stuffing what few things I needed for the day in the pockets. Fortunately, the bus system continues similarly to that in the USA and buying a ticket gets you 90 minutes travel, or more, as long as you board before the printed time on the ticket expires. I purchased mine, and was half way to the park when I decided just to check the camera out. The battery level was critically low, but unfortunately the spare was back at the hotel, so I jumped off this bus, caught another going in the opposite direction and got off 2 stops before I should have. It was thought quicker to wait for the next service, which arrived promptly allowing me to recover the power pack and get the 19 back again. Sitting on one of the fold down seats, 2 stops on a China man sat next to me, forced the seat down rather hard, clattered into it catching my pocket containing my 18 - 55 lens between the seats and breaking it. Things were not going too well! At Stanley, I was greeted by a whole host of

'black' Grey Squirrels,

several Black-capped Chickadees,

mostly feeding young, and a

panoramic view of Vancouver, perched on the edge of the sea inlet

and overlooking the small boat marina.

In the far distance was a male Goosander busily feeding, but there were nowhere near the number and variety of birds that we had seen in 2007. Under these circumstances many theories can abound, but on thing is for sure that the noise level is far higher than it was with

Sea-planes landing

and taking off every few minutes, and likewise with helicopters and ferries.

Another bird caught my eye as it seemingly hovered over the small boat pens. Was it an Osprey, or was it a Kite. A little of both I'd say but a fine idea for keeping the Gull off your 'bridge deck'.

This, believe it or not, is a Wrentit, a parent bird with a number of young all of which made our own Long-tailed Tits seem almost pedestrian.

The Royal Canadian Naval Reserve was worth a look in

but it was soon back to business as I stumbled upon a dozen or so

Wood Duck, this a male and below

a female.

Red-winged Blackbirds were again 'at it' showing off a nice number of young.

All around the Beaver Pool delicate violet Flag Irises were well into flower

and there was also time to view the Beaver's handiwork. However, bird numbers did remain low unlike 4 years ago when we saw Bald Eagle, Lesser Scaup, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck and Bufflehead here, but the day did end on a high. Stopping to chat to a mane who was feeding both the Squirrels and Chickadees with peanuts, told me the latter were Black-capped, but seeing extensive 'rufous' in the plumage concluded they were in fact

Rufous-backed Chickadee

another 'World Lifer' and anyway, all of this poor fortune was forgotten as I returned to the digs to admire the view from 5 stories up.

Buena Vista

The riggers and banksmen were constructing a Tower Crane

which was well worth watching for a few minutes as they lifted

the crane's jib into place.

If weather permits I will return to Stanley Park for a few hours tomorrow before likely moving on.

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