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Last Sunday we decided to get our exercise by walking on the Matsqui Trail dike.  It was long, windy and monotonous, so we changed tactics and headed for Mill Lake, in Abbotsford. 

Lo and behold, there was a very rare Cape May warbler in the park. We quickly found it. Well, to be precise, we found a number of people with very large camera lenses,  all pointed at a laburnum tree. So we asked them why! 

Birding tip #1 – Always pack some bino’s and a camera, even if “birding” isn’t the plan. I have had a number of “pleasant surprises” over the years.

Meet Mr Cape May Warbler, a very handsome and not at all shy, little guy:

Cape May warbler, Abbotsford, BC
Cape May warbler

The consensus seems to be that he likely took a wrong turn on his way down south. This bird has not been seen previously in the Lower Mainland. Their natural range is Central and Eastern Canada.

Nikon Cool Pix P700 Camera

To see this bird normally, you would need to be way up in Fort St. John, BC in August.

Cape May warbler in a laburnum bush

This is the first sighting of this bird in the Fraser Valley. He arrived with the New Year. I’d like to think he is a good omen for 2019!

Cape May warbler

Life’s little surprises!

Colin Rankin for TRDB

Other birding articles by Colin Rankin that you may enjoy:

Wildlife in Antarctica – a Photographer’s Dream! (Penguins)

What Makes The Falkland Islands Worth Visiting? (Albatross, penguins, caracaras)

Costa Rica – Finding your Inner Bird!

Birding in San Blas, Mexico

Wonderful Woodpeckers

A Cluster of Buntings (Lasuli and Snow Buntings)

Birding Rio Lagartos (Mexico Birds)

“Keepers” – what makes a great photo?

Even More LBJ’s – The Bewick’s Wren (Little Brown Jobs)

Puffins (Newfoundland)

Hey! That’s My Fish! (Ospreys in British Columbias)

Little Green Jobs

Bird Photography – Novice no More!

Revenge of the Water Thick-Knees