Monday, December 27, 2010
[top photo: J and M Ramsay]
From Stan Olson:
"Mid morning today on the Abbotsford-Mission Christmas Bird Count, I found an Acorn Woodpecker in the small village of Matsqui, in a rural area of Abbotsford near the Fraser River. I have posted a photo in Stan's Photos in the Photos section. It's digiscoped so the quality is poor, sorry, but should be sufficient for identification. It appears to be a female. I didn't hear any vocalization from this bird in the 10 minutes we were observing it, but it showed the undulating flight of a woodpecker on several occasions.
Directions to the location:
Take Hwy 1 to the Sumas exit in Abbotsford, and follow Hwy 11 north toward Mission for several miles to the traffic light at Harris Rd (56th Ave). Turn left here, onto Harris Rd. One block later turn right on Riverside Rd (traffic light), and follow Riverside Rd for about 4 blocks through Matsqui village. Turn right on Fore Rd, a gravel lane just before a small slough bordering a small community park. Fore Rd dead-ends at the railway. Looking left (north) from this point there is a row of cottonwoods growing along the west side of the RR grade. The bird was perched in one of these cottonwoods. It also flew across the RR to a grove of hazelnut trees, and back into the cottonwoods, where it moved around to various trees. The cottonwoods are also visible from the above mentioned park. There is a parking lot there. Walk further to the back fence, and across the slough you see the row of cottonwood trees.
If you wish, you can take a short cut from the west. Exit Hwy 1 at 264th and follow 56th Ave east (Harris Rd) to the above mentioned corner of Harris Rd and Riverside Rd, turn left and go to Fore Rd.
From Hwy 7, exit in Mission onto Hwy 11 toward Abbotsford. Immediately at the end of the bridge over the Fraser River, exit off Hwy 11. You are now on Riverside Rd. Shortly you will see the small park on your left, and Fore Rd just past it.
Be aware: this is an active rail line so use caution. Also be aware that while you can turn east off Hwy 11 northbound onto another part of Fore Rd, there is no access from Hwy 11 to this portion of Fore Rd. You can only get to it from Riverside Rd.
Good luck to anyone trying for this bird.
**Check for updates in the comments below!