It’s been exactly four weeks since we were last in Stanley Park and in that time Spring has definitely begun to take hold. We did a very similar 7.5-ish km loop around the park, from Third Beach along the seawall to Lost Lagoon, then across to Coal Harbour and north past the aquarium to the seawall again, which we followed as far as the closure before Prospect Point. We took the steep path up to the Point before taking the Bridle and Rawlings trails through the green forest back to Third Beach, reaching the car with a few minutes to spare on our parking.
February’s walk was the first time we’d seen some of the damage to the seawall in the wake of the winter storms. Today we saw some of the first repairs that had been made since then, mostly new concrete kerbs at the edge of the seawall. There’s no doubt it’s a big job to repair all the damage, and the section between Prospect Point and Third Beach was still closed and probably will be for a couple of months.
The skunk cabbage by Lost Lagoon has sprouted, with some plants in full leaf. Salmonberry is blooming all over the park, dots of intense pink and fresh green decorating the spindly brown stems. Pacific bleeding heart fronds are covering the forest floor and a few buds have sprouted in areas with more light. Red huckleberry is in leaf and even in bloom in some areas. And of course the cherry blossom is just getting started.
As always the park is a great place to see many bird species. Today we saw northern flickers, cormorants, herons, bald eagles, ravens, crows, song sparrows, spotted towhees, wrens, chickadees, kinglets, robins, varied thrushes, Anna’s hummingbirds, wood ducks, goldeneye, and bufflehead plus the usual array of gulls, mallards, and widgeon. And a great many Canada geese. Watch your step…
Here are a few photos from today:
And some photos from our previous visit on Feb 26: