Duck Hotel

Lately I’ve noticed that two new guests have taken up permanent residence at the Hotel Grand Pacific, one of the biggest hotels downtown. They’re not paying guests, but they’re cute!

This couple is there most days I walk by – I think they’re taken up residence for the fall. I’m sure it’s as good a spot as any, and I’m always happy to see them

Friendly Visitor

I’ve already posted about what I think is the best breakfast spot in Victoria, here on the beach at Ogden Point. But don’t just limit yourself to the morning – it’s great for picnics all times of the day. This breaker wall is perfect because you can still enjoy the view and be close to the water, even when the tide’s starting to coming in. As long as you don’t mind visitors ….

And as a side note, that building in the background is the Ogden Point Cafe, a fun spot whose location and view make up for the slightly overpriced items, and the Ogden Point Dive Centre. It’s actually not unlikely you’ll see divers setting out if you stop here.

One of these Birds ….

This flock of geese enjoying a low-tide morning at Fisherman’s Wharf had a foreign visitor. Can you see him? (while singing Sesame Street’s ‘One of these things’ in your head of course!)I’m not sure how long I’ll live in BC before I stop getting excited every time I see a heron. Especially when they fly – they look like dinosaurs! (And in case you didn’t find him, he’s on the right ..)

Gosling Season

So they’re a little far away in this picture, but today was a fun first of the season – first baby goose sighting! I saw these two down on Fisherman’s Wharf. Too cute! I’ll try to keep my camera ready for more – last year I saw a pack of several parents and a dozen or more babies swimming around this area. Too bad I wasn’t blogging then!

Great Blue Birdwatching

Now that I’m blogging daily I’m carrying my camera around with me everywhere – which is great when I stumble on great made-in-BC moments, like yesterday when I met this guy on an early morning walk around the Inner Harbour.  I moved to BC a few years ago with all the usual expectations – friendlier people, more walkable cities, accessible culture, yoga yoga yoga – that have all proven to be more than true. But what I wasn’t expecting and is now one of my favourite things is the way that nature pops into city life, in a way that it doesn’t back east. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a raccoon strolling down an ally in Vancouver, or a skunk moseying on someone’s lawn. But my favourite is all the birds. Every time I see a heron or an eagle or a hawk or a hummingbird (all of which happen if not regularly, then not uncommonly), I hold my breath.

And I love the herons. I was so happy to get a picture of this one yesterday. We saw a heron up  close the night we moved to Victoria, which I took a a sign of good luck that we’d made the choice to move here. And if you visit here, pay attention – herons like to wade near the shore, and they make a loud throaty squawking sound when they fly. And they’re worth keeping an eye and ear out for.