Bird watching is often thought to be a warm weather pursuit, but those in the know know that it’s worth bundling up and braving the cold because winter is quite possibly the best season for bird watching in Surrey. It may be chilly, but as the temperatures dip, the chances of spotting migrating birds increases. So, layer up, grab your binoculars and your camera (and your mitts) and get birding!
Inland, in spots like Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, Redwood Park, Green Timbers Urban Forest and Surrey Lake Park, spy chickadees, bushtits, nuthatches and raptors like eagles and owls. Along the shoreline, Mud Bay Park, Blackie Spit Park and Serpentine Wildlife Management Area are perfect for watching migrating waterfowl like massive flocks of Dunlin, Sanderling, Black-bellied Plover, Mallards and Widgeons. And keep an eye open for raptors like Bald Eagles who are feeding on the salmon spawn and short-eared Owls who can sometimes be spotted during the daytime hunting around fields and farms.
Be sure to download the BC Bird Trail Mobile Experience, a free app designed to help discover the best birding hotspots in BC, track your birding progress, and earn points along the way. And to help you identify what birds you’re looking at, it’s helpful to download a birding app like Merlin or BirdNET. Once you’ve spotted your birds, be sure to enter your sightings into eBird, a global citizen database-driven bird-watching resource. Not only can you upload your finds, but you can also use eBird to discover what birds to look out for in Surrey’s bird-watching spots.
If you are just getting started in the world of birds, or are an intermediate birder looking to become an expert and want to tap into the knowledge of a bona fide BC birding expert, book at 1.5-hour guided bird walk with Kris Cu Nature Photography. Kris leads bird walks around Surrey, and the south coast, and is a wealth of information about what to look for and where to get a rich birding experience.
Visit the BC Bird Trail for great tips about birding in the winter, including ways to weatherproof your gear … and yourself. And don’t forget to “look up, stay grounded”.