Birding in Surrey
If you’ve got a soft spot for our furry and winged friends, Surrey is most certainly the city for you! Surrey’s vast landscapes, abundance of parks, and waterways make for great bird-watching.
Did you know that over 200 species of birds call Surrey their home at one time or another throughout the year? That’s a whole lot of feathers! There are so many bird-watching spots it would be close to impossible to list them all, so below are our top 10 spots to see the birds fly, rest or nest in Surrey.
The lake is important habitat to many amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds and mammals. The lake also attracts many waterbirds like great herons, green herons, buffleheads, march wrens and king fishers. As well as forest dwelling birds like black cap chickadees, spotted towhees, cedar waxwings and pileated woodpeckers.
Blackie Spit is an important stop for migrating and wintering waterfowl and shorebirds because of the tidal march and eelgrass beds. You might also see a few aquatic mammals such as the harbor seals and their pups. Keep your eyes peeled for northern flickers, pileated woodpeckers, a brown creepers and yellow-rumped warblers, among many more.
Elgin Heritage Park is right on the banks of Nicomekl River, filled with large trees and beautiful views on the water. The large trees often have eagles and hawks looking for prey. There are also small perching birds and waterfowl nesting in the wildlife. The waterfowl and shorebirds at this park are very sensitive to disturbance, so be sure to stay on the trails, leave only footprints, and take only photos
Green Timbers Urban Forest is one of the largest parks in the city which is 183 hectares of wetland, lakes, fishing dock, grassland, meadows and nature trails. There are many different bird species to see while walking through the park or bicycling, including bald eagles and woodpeckers.
Walk through the forest which is around 2.6 kilometers in length and watch for the different birds in and around the trees. Visit around dusk and you’ll see a whole new specie; bats hunting for insect to snack on.
Hi-Knoll Park is a habitat for birds like the mallards, swallows, and common snipe who enjoy the swampy area. This is the only area where the endangered White Fan Lily grows, also known as Dog’s Tooth Violet (but please don’t pick them).
Mud Bay Park is another great spot for migrating and wintering waterfowl and shorebirds since there are tidal marches and eelgrass. Mud Bay Park is located across from Blackie Spit, so it is another great spot to enjoy the birds in the area. Dunlins, and rare murrelets and kingbirds can be found at Mud Bay Park for mating season.
One of Surrey’s earliest pioneers, David Brown gave his property to his twin sons, David and Peter in 1893. These brothers spent their life traveling and collecting seeds and saplings of exotic tree species which the planted all throughout the property where they lived in a 2-storey treehouse. And now there are 50 different species of trees that are home to many species of birds. The odd olive-sided flycatcher has even been spotted in the park.
The Serpentine Wildlife Management Area is better known as the Serpentine Fen which is habitat to more than 130 different bird species on a 150-hectare land. Cormorants, owls, red-winged black birds, and various types of hawks can all be seen at the Serpentine Fen, as well as muskrats, coyotes, frogs, and harbour seals.
Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest is a 130-hectare park which is home to many different birds, coyotes, and black-tailed deer. Owls and hawks are among just a few of the winged inhabitants of this beautiful park, as well as woodpeckers, chickadees, and wrens, just to name a few.