What better way to spend a glorious day before Christmas, than to go on a Downtown to Harbor walk-about. I started off along Robson Street, to Denman, to Sunset Beach, then around the seawall.
Downtown Vancouver West End heritage building, The Manhattan Apartments at 784 Thurlow Street with the 745 Thurlow Street construction site towering in the background.
North Pole Express Mail – even at reindeer speed, the mail couldn’t make it to Santa by Christmas Eve.
Pampas Grass at Second Beach with one of seventeen ships at Anchor in English Bay.
Having a free lunch, or perhaps a pre-Christmas dinner? A four year old Larus Argentatus (Hering Gull) is persistent in opening a package of breadcrumbs from a local bakery and quickly as possible, makes double efforts to devour the contents. Another hungry gull hastily circles the sand and surf waiting for an opportunity to steel the cellophane package away. Sunset Beach, Vancouver’s West End.
Herrings gulls are similar to Glaucous-winged gulls (with pink feet, and dull gray mantle) except that the primary feathers has black patterns (black with white spots, called mirrors). The Herring gull has a heavy yellow bill with a red spot on the lower mandible.
Freighter Mina Oldendorff freighter anchored in background of Second Beach and seawall. Vessel named “MINA OLDENDORFF”, registered with IMO number 9678795 and MMSI 636016034 is bulk carrier She is currently sailing under the flag of Liberia. She was built in 2013.
One of the Second Beach picnic benches makes and interesting intersection of lines with the Two freighters anchored in background and a lonely tourist/jogger at the right.
Siwash Rock near Third Beach along the Stanley Park Seawall – from the south, looking north.
Melanitta Perspicillata (Surf Scooter) warily keeps an eye on me as I walk along the sea wall in the shadow underneath Lion’s Gate Bridge. The Surf Scooter is classified as a Sea Duck.
Tymac Agent on it’s way back into Vancouver Harbor half an hour or so later, the loaded freighter Westwood Pacific heads out of the harbor under it’s own speed.
A small portion of a large flock of Bay Ducks, Bucephala Islandica (Barrow’s Golden Eye) males and females all traveling together fishing. Barrow’s Goldeneye ducks are diving ducks/bay ducks. The Males have black hoods and backs with white spots at the wing edge, while there is a white peanut shaped patch in front of the eye. The female has a golden eye, short bill accented with black, with an orange patch near the tip (in spring this color can consume the whole beak), a dark brown hood, and over all dark gray-brown body.
This Bay duck is Bucephala Albeola (Buffle Head, male) going about it’s business of diving and fishing. Bufflehead ducks are diving ducks. Very small and skittish, extremely hard to get close to. The best way to photograph theses birds is to find a spot where they are enjoying feeding and be patient. The male has a large white notch behind the eye, making this bird closely resembling a hooded merganser. The female is dark and compact, with a white cheek spot, small bill and small wing patch. Diving ducks feed on small fish and aquatic insects, varying diet with underwater vegetation. They can be found mainly in lakes, ponds, rivers, salt bays or flood canals.
Looking east toward Second Narrows through Vancouver Harbor and to a huge rain cloud hovering over Burnaby.
Many colorful displays of ceramic, plastic and fiberglass, the Stanley Park “Bright Nights In Stanley Park” bless us with another installment of Christmas cheer, running from November 27th, to January 4th. There must be almost a dozen different Santa and Mrs. Claus displays this year… most are presented by fire department houses or neighborhood schools. My favorite display at this year’s Stanley Park extravaganza, is the giant reindeer made of a wire frame wrapped in red Christmas lights (over 20 feet tall)
CP Huntington locomotive which is a scale model of a locomotive in service in 1863. There are two of these locomotives that pull passenger cars behind them in an eight minute ride around a section of Stanley Park reserved for the Stanley Park Trains. There is another train that is a replica of the first CPR Trans Continental engine as well. These trains are put to the test every Christmas season, providing locals and visitors with a magical tour of seasonal displays to delight young and old.
A display of toys, every child’s favorite, put together by Neighborhood Toy Stores.
Caught between the cedar trees wrapped in Christmas lights, this is my favorite display in the Christmas Lights Land at Stanley Park.