You can meet so many birds of prey in Boundary Bay! Marc and I were keen to go out for a walk, but we didn’t have any micro-spikes. I looked up some hikes at low elevation, so we didn’t need to worry about ice. My search found several fun (and easy) hikes in the Tsawwassen / Delta region, south of Vancouver. We started off by driving an Evo (car share) down to Boundary Bay Regional park. I had heard that we might see some wildlife down in Boundary Bay, but I wasn’t expecting to see so many bald eagles up close! This walk is brilliant for seeing wildlife at this time of year!
The loop around Boundary Bay Regional Park:
Distance: 5km (ish)
Time: 1-2 hours, depending on how much you stop to see the birdies!
Elevation gain: Almost none. This walk is really flat!
Facilities: There are loos, a play-park for kids, and a cafe all close to the car park. The cafe was closed early on a Saturday morning, but maybe it is more for summer beach goers!?
Can you do it? YES! This is another super-easy walk, with some stunning (if flat) views.
Boundary Bay Regional Park is really close to the US boarder, so we had some gorgeous views of America and Mount Baker! I have heard from friends that there is some really good skiing over near Mount Baker. From this far away, the mountain just looks epic and calm!
The first thing we saw after we left the car park was a tree filled with bald eagles! They were sitting so still that I didn’t even see them straight away! It was a little hard to take photos (as the sun was in the wrong direction) but isn’t this dude beautiful! They were as interested in us as we were in them, so they followed us around with their eyes, even while they kept most of their bodies still!
There are quite a few paths around the Boundary Bay Regional Park. We chose to walk along the coastal section first. There are some really good views of Burnaby and Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains off in the distance. Up close, there are piles and piles of driftwood for birds (or people) to perch on.
We started seeing some more majestic birds of prey zoom past. I wasn’t sure what this dude was at first, but now I am pretty sure he is a juvenile bald eagle. This is what they look like before they go “bald” with that distinctive white head.
The mountains look sooo different from this angle compared to the views from the center of Vancouver. I loved being able to see the line of snow-capped peaks further inland. Normally I only get to see those peaks when I’m at the top of other local mountains.
Once we turned off into Boundary Bay Regional Park the views were completely different. The center of the park is full of reeds, surrounded by bare trees. The weather has warmed up quite a lot since we did this walk, so by now the trees will probably be even prettier and bright green.
One great thing about the bare trees was we had amazing views of the bald eagles. This guy wanted to show off his speckled wings. I’v decided to give him a Royal name- William.
There were two juvenile bald eagles that were playing chase. I mean, I don’t know if they were *actually* playing chase, but they kept zooming from one copse of trees to another, while swooping down at each other in mid air. It was really cool to watch, and very difficult to take a photo in focus!
Suddenly one of the eagles (this one is called Harry,) swooped down to the ground and grabbed something. If you click on the photo to make it bigger, you can just about see it is a huge crab! He then took his meal over to a different tree and started to much on crab sashimi. These birds have good (royal even) tastes! I’d rather snack on crab than a mouse!
William stopped swooping around. He sat a few branches up from Harry, watching him eat the crab! It’s pretty interesting watching a bird expertly open up a crab’s shell to get at the meat. But after a while we decided to keep walking along the shore.
There were sooo many other birdies digging through the mud looking for shellfish and bugs. Every so often a group would fly off in a chatter, but mostly it was a quiet, relaxing place to stroll.
As this was a few weeks ago, the sakura were just starting to bloom. You could tell that Spring will just get prettier and prettier.
Along the edge of the path there are quite a few bird houses with different residents popping in and out. Some of them stuck around long enough for me to take a photo. Mostly they were too fast for me though! The iridescent cuties on the left are tree swallows, and the fluff-ball on the right is a black-capped chickadee. I didn’t know what any of these bids were(!) but I found this helpful pdf to help me work out what we’d seen later.
This red winged blackbird might have been on the pull. he was sitting up high and singing as loud as he could. Marc thought he was attempting to be noticed by the ladies.
We finished our walk by looping back through the center of Boundary Bay Regional Park. We chose to walk along the raptor trail, which seemed appropriate with so many birds of prey around! There were quite a few bunnies, but they were too speedy for me to get my camera out!
Heading back to the car park, we walked past one more tree full of Bald Eagles. This one was definitely watching us!
So, that was our easy walk, watching birds, and in turn being watched by raptors. If you visit Vancouver and fancy a hike, but your legs can’t quite cope with the Grouse grind-esque hills, this is a fun, easy option.
Or, if you fancy other easy-walking options, you can find looooads of others here.
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