First stop was Boundary Bay, looking for, you guessed it, owls.
We usually have good luck spotting them out there, or rather, spotting a crowd of photographers, who have done the impossibly difficult job of finding the owls.
|Photographing with a smartphone through a pair of binoculars isn't too bad|
|Long eared owl|
Here's a video of the same owl, from one of the wildlife enthusiasts in the crowd pictured above:
The marsh flats of Boundary Bay support the owls with populations of rodents. It is also the entry point of a 25 km journey for a population of salmon.
Every November to January, chum, coho, and steelhead salmon swim upstream into the tributaries of the Serpentine river. Many of them target Tynehead Regional Park in Surrey, where there's a hatchery releasing fry into the river each spring. It's been four years since I visited to see the salmon run.
Before seeing any live fish, we saw (and smelled) the dead ones. There actually weren't too many clogging up the shorelines, indicating the run is either light this year, or that we were early. A parks person we spoke with remarked that while it did seem lighter this year, a heavier rain could bring more in later.
|Coho in beautiful spawning colours, resting up before continuing her journey upstream|
|She is the swimming dead. Resting in an eddy near shore, she's done with spawning, and awaiting her fate.|
|A male chum, investigating whether the nearly dead female could be coerced into mating.|
|male chum and a busted lip|