McLean Pond in Campbell Valley Regional Park

A park bench overlooking McLean Pond on a summer evening at Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley, British Columbia, Canada

park bench with view of mclean pond in campbell valley park

A Park Bench with a View of McLean Pond (Purchase)

McLean Pond is one of the areas of Campbell Valley Regional Park that seems “new” to me. I don’t believe it was part of the park when I first started visiting it in the early 1980’s. I first explored this area starting about 8 years ago as I’d seen people parking there and decided to check it out myself. The majority of the area is a grassy field, but after a short walk through the grass McLean Pond comes into view. There is a small dock on the south end and one can reserve the pond for canoeing. At the north end of the pond there is a park bench (above) which offers a good spot to view the wildlife in the area.

I visited McLean Pond a few weeks ago mostly in order to try out a new lens I’d purchased (Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM) – mostly to try to get used to the new focal lengths. The wildlife I’d hoped to find at the pond was a good place to start getting acquainted with the new lens, as well as some smaller landscape scenes I was hoping to find. This particular evening had very little breeze, so I was able to get a nice reflection for the photograph below, a scene one can view from the park bench I mentioned above.

reflections on mclean pond in campbell valley park

Reflections in McLean Pond (Purchase)

The pond (closed to fishing, btw) is home to muskrats and beavers – both of which I saw that evening. Turtles and a few frog species also live in the pond, but I didn’t happen to spot any on this visit. I did see the Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) in the photo below, as well as what I presume were this year’s crop of goslings. They were swimming around in the pond, happily picking pond weeds from beneath the surface. This particular individual had a watchful eye on me much of the time. I presume this was either the designated lookout or a parent still wary of its young’s ability to avoid dangers such as photographers with long lenses.

canada goose in mclean pond at campbell valley park

A Wary Canada Goose (B. canadensis) at McLean Pond (Purchase)

The photograph below of two fallen, dead trees along the shore of McLean Pond was one I’d wanted to make on a previous visit, but the conditions were never quite right. The reflection was nice this time and the water plants in the foreground (Watershield – Brasenia schreberi) added a bit to the scene – and they aren’t present in the spring when I’ve visited here the most.

reflections mclean pond at campbell valley park

Reflections on McLean Pond (Purchase)

On my way back to my car I heard this Dwarf Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis brooksi) singing in the bushes. I couldn’t find it, and didn’t want to move around too much, but it made it easy on me by landing on this branch within range of my longer lens. This usually happens when I have a wide angle on, but I was lucky this time, and was walking with my new lens. This was a new species for me, I’ve not knowingly seen Savannah Sparrows before, but now I’ll be on the lookout for more. The species name of this bird is interesting – sandwichensis. Was someone hungry?

dwarf savannah sparrow in campbell valley park

Dwarf Savannah Sparrow (P. sandwichensis brooksi) (Purchase)

You can view more of my photographs from this park in my Campbell Valley Park gallery.

Spring in Campbell Valley Park

In Campbell Valley Park, a pair of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) escort their goslings across McLean Pond.

canada goose family on mclean pond campbell valley park

Canada Geese pair with goslings (Purchase)

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   As warmer, spring weather is finally here – I headed to Campbell Valley Park last week to photograph whatever I could find around McLean pond. Turns out the Dandelion flowers of the week before (see below) were spent, so I used most of my time photographing this Canada Goose family. Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are pretty ubiquitous around here, but I hadn’t before had the opportunity to photograph a family such as this, and not as close as this. While I most often use it for landscapes, my 1.4x extender was purchased for wildlife encounters such as this one, and it performs well on my 70-200mm lens. This allowed me to sit on the bank and let them swim by whenever they wanted – I didn’t disturb them much at all. What did bother this pair was another pair of adults that seemed to take a run at them every 10 minutes or so. The male (I presume) would swim over, get really close to the mother and goslings, and the parental male would chase him away, then chase the female away. There was a lot of squawking, splashing and flapping of wings. I don’t know if this was about territory or what exactly, but they were persistent the entire time I was there (about an hour).

   In the Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley area we don’t have big fields of wildflowers in any form other than that of the Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). While these are considered a weed in lawns and gardens – I do think they make a credible wildflower display in fields such as this one in Campbell Valley Park. Not quite as impactful as some of the alpine and subalpine fields with multiple species such as those found at Mount Rainier, but still worthy of some attention.

sunset at jack point in biggs park nanaimo

A field of Dandelions blooming in Campbell Valley Park (Purchase)

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See more of my photos from Campbell Valley Park.