Friday, November 4, 2011

Sunday: My first full day in Vancouver

...and as expected, I was up wayyyy too early. I went down to the beach at around 8 a.m. which is my favourite way to start the day. Double click on pictures to enlarge them.

I ran into a sad, crying, complaining baby gull:

Looked out at the ships:

What's that in the distance flying towards me with a massive wingspan?

Yessss! My first eagle, and definitely not my last, because...

This juvenile bald eagle showed up an hour later! The day was off to a fantastic start. I started walking along the seawall and met one of many crows:

There are tons of crows, Canada Geese and Gulls in Vancouver, in addition to eagles and waterfowl. As I started to make my way to Second Beach, I looked in a fir tree that was taller than the surrounding trees. Two years ago when I was in Vancouver I spotted an adult bald eagle in the tree as I was walking along the seawall, just before the pool. Of course, I expected an eagle to be there again. Well I thought I saw something white in the tree and immediately dismissed it as hallucination. But when I got closer:

Eagle number 3!!! I couldn't believe I saw one adult in flight, one perched in a tree and a juvenile as well. The adults are likely from Stanley Park where there are 4 known nesting pairs. The juvenile could be from there or it could be from Vanier Park or elsewhere.

I kept walking along. It's funny to look at these trees and think they are the same size as trees in Toronto. In this next picture you can see people jogging, walking and riding bikes along the seawall and they're tiny!

On the water:

Have a seat. They have tons of benches along the seawall:

So, you know how the eagle's lookout tree looked kind of dead? It's really dead!

I turned around and started walking along the beach towards the Burrard Street Bridge. That's it on the top right side of this picture, yes, a long way off. Now that I look at it I can't believe I walked that far.

English Bay with the Inukshuk in the middle and further back, Second Beach and the eagle tree:

Mini Inukshuks:

Over the bridge and into Kitsilano, my destination. A bit of scenery:

And finally, lunch! I had purchased 2 vouchers to Moii Cafe, a little place that specializes in crepes.

They were SO good! We only used 1 voucher because we wanted to go back a second time later in the week.

And for the grand finale, we went over to Vanier Park, hoping to see the eagles. They generally return to the nest in early October. Two years ago, they returned around October 4th which was shortly after I left, but this year, I was lucky:

Both of them were in the nesting tree! Before I took this picture I could only see the fluffy tail feathers of one, but you can see the second eagle in this picture. The tree was still full of leaves so they were hard to see from any other angle. That makes 5 eagles in one day, I couldn't believe it.

We went to the hotel later and decided we'd go to The Calling Public House. I bought a voucher to this pub as it was right across the street from my hotel. I took pictures of my meal but they came out looking horrible so I'm not going to post them. The food was amazing, I had mushroom soup and quinoa salad and my friend had a burger and fries.

Cheesecake for dessert:

And that was it. By 8 pm I was ready to sleep. I needed a lot of sleep because I was renting a bike the next day and I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into!

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