Iona Jetty, an Eagle, a Dreamliner, and a Bevy of Otters

Iona Jetty offers year round stunning vistas, amazing wildlife, and open spaces

Iona Beach is where the Fraser River meets the Strait of Georgia. This mix of a salt and sea water creates a rare ecosystem. Iona Beach Regional Park is known for its extensive foreshore and sand dunes. Iona Jetty is the perfect place for plane spotting, bird watching, and even otter watching. I recommend arriving in the morning, when the temperatures are cooler, and the birds are out. The morning I was there, I saw several eagles, one very close to the trail. There were dozens of herons. And there was also a family of otters swimming and coming on shore along the jetty, though they were a bit shy.

Herons and otters.

Iona Jetty is part of Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond


Iona Jetty is a 4 KM (2.5 mi) flat trail that offers magnificent scenery and wild life viewing. The surrounding Iona Beach Regional Park marshes are rich with wildlife that provide an important habitat for rare bird species.

More than 300 species of bird feed and rest in the park, including thousands of shorebirds migrating along the Pacific Flyway.

Iona Jetty is an excellent place to view water birds such as herons, and gulls, and even eagles! In the fall months it is one of the best spots in Vancouver to view species like Wandering Tattler, Lapland Longspur, Horned Lark and Snow Bunting.


Take a walk or ride your bike along the Iona Jetty 4 KM (2.5 mi) flat trail that offers magnificent scenery and wild life viewing. (Yes it’s built on a large sewage pipe that extends into the Strait.)

Plane Spotting


Iona Beach is located almost adjacent to the Vancouver International Airport. When not bird watching, if you’re like me, you can thrill to see big birds landing at YVR. When I was there an Air Canada Dreamliner was crossing over while a young eagle was perched along the jetty.

And he wasn’t very shy. Larger than some small dogs passing him along the jetty trail, this eagle was not intimidated.

Tips:
Get there in the morning when it’s quieter, and there are more birds. You can use a normal lens to get great bird photos, but also take a long lens for your camera to get pictures of wildlife off shore.


Getting There:
Iona Beach Regional Park is in Richmond near the airport. Take Grauer Road to Ferguson Road and then Iona Island Causeway. The road veers right at the end of the airport. Proceed left to the shore, until you reach the parking lot area for the park.

Hours:
Regional Parks in general are open during daylight hours.

Iona Beach Regional Park is managed by Metro Vancouver.
Metro Vancouver – Iona Beach Regional Park
http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/parks-greenways-reserves/iona-beach-regional-park

Checklist of Birds Species that have been spotted at Iona Island.
http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/driftwood/ionabl.htm

Enjoy!

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