Ring-necked Duck and Wood Duck at Mountain View Cemetery

Patricia Bacchetti

As I pursue new places to look for birds for the 5 Mile Radius 2019 Challenge (http://www.iusedtohatebirds.com/p/vancouver-5mr.html), I popped into 2 places that are less than .5 mile from my house today.

At Mountain View Cemetery, there was a male RING-NECKED DUCK in the upper lake, not an easy bird to get this close to the bay. Deciding to look more closely, I parked at the top of the upper lake and walked up the path behind the closed gate (it's open to hikers) and found a male WOOD DUCK ; again, not that common this time of the year. I'm also noticing a big movement of robins in my neighborhood in the last couple of days, and the cemetery was covered in them, too.

Encouraged by my explorations, I decided to take a peek in the quarry pond next to the big new Safeway store on Pleasant Valley Road. Low and behold, there was a pair of NORTHERN PINTAILS keeping the Canada Geese company, as well as a female RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. Behind the AAA I found a hatch-year TOWNSEND'S WARBLER. The quarry pond isn't even an eBird hotspot, but I'm going to keep an eye on it from now on. And since Arrowhead Marsh is just out of my circle, finding the pintails was a bonus.

The 5MR concept is a great way to look for little pieces of habitat near you that aren't birded much, and it's fun to be able to bird locally with the spare hour here and there.

Who knows that the coming storms will blow in,

Patricia Bacchetti

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