Two full days were spent in Vancouver, and wildlife wise it can be separated into two individual districts - downtown and Stanley Park. Our hotel was located to the South of the downtown area, so the first day was either within the confines of the streets and blocks of urbanisation, or the occasional break offered by the shoreline surrounding here.
No surprises were offered by the paved streets and occasional tree lined avenues. Northwestern Crows are abundant throughout, only being interspersed with introduced Starlings and House Sparrows. American Herring Gulls seem to be the most frequent of the roof dwelling gulls. Occasionally, the throaty calls of Black-capped Chickadees can be heard.
The waters prying their way among the densely inhabited streets offer Ring-billed & Glaucous-winged to the American Herring Gull fair. Cormorants are extremely common. At first, these were mainly Double-crested, with a sizable roosting colony under the supports of one of the main bridges. Pelagic Cormorants can eventually be picked out from their larger cousins. Best bird by far over one of the beaches was a hunting Cooper's Hawk, although its impact may have been lessened when a Striped Skunk was chanced upon as it ambled its way around one of the smaller parks during the dark of evening not far from our accommodation.
The day spent walking Stanley Park offered a much greater variety of species. The drill was to walk the circumference, which was in effect the full walking track encircling the park. This was done, with no particular significance, in a clockwise direction, along with a tide of walkers and joggers. Most of the route had cyclists, roller bladers, and assorted other wheeled carriages separated on to a separate track. This offered a view of the sea inlets to our left, with the vegetation of the park on the right.
Early successes were separating Glaucous-winged Gulls from American Herring, and Pelagic Cormorant from Double-crested. Amongst the numerous moulting eclipse Mallards scattered amongst the rocks of the shoreline was an almost unobtrusive female Harlequin Duck. A single sparrow in reedy vegetation was a Song Sparrow.
As we completed the outer part of the walk, forays were made into the interior, with first blood going to a Sharp-shinned Hawk, chasing an American Crow before landing in a tree briefly as we snacked. A Red-necked Grebe was almost below us in the marina area, before Eastern Grey Squirrels (introduced and mainly of the melanistic form) became reasonably common along the interior trails.
Lost Lake was mainly good for common wildfowl, although a single Wood Duck was picked out from the accompanying Mallards. Best spectacle was a pair of Northern Raccoons playing about at the apex of the lagoon, enticing a crowd to watch. Birds were picked up while here, with a Grey Catbird among mainly Black-capped Chickadees. Best move of the day was not only to take one of the trails back to the beach route home, but also to follow up a small group of photographers peering up at a bush. It contained a superb Barred Owl, generally unconcerned with the attention it was receiving. Just along from here, a couple of Douglas Squirrels were busily collecting and hording food for the winter.