Inset from the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Langford is an outdoor lover’s paradise just 15 kilometres from Downtown Victoria. Exploring The Langford Bird Trail Outpost offers birders plenty of birding destinations. As one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada, you’re never far from all kinds of amenities and services while birding.
Langford’s popular downtown core is surrounded by lush, green hills chock-full of hiking trails and lookouts with local wildlife around every turn. Though many small private lakes dot the sprawling landscape, it’s Langford Lake, Glen Lake, and Florence Lake that are the most prominent for birding. They are home to a wide variety of waterfowl throughout the year, including mergansers, grebes, goldeneyes, and many species of ducks.
Where to See the Birds
Around 200 different species have been recorded in the Langford area and over 400 in the Capital Regional District surrounding it. Langford is surrounded by mountains, lakes, and ocean, making for some diverse habitats for birding adventures. Here are a few locations to explore from the Langford Bird Trail Outpost.
Goldstream Provincial Park
Meander through the trails between old-growth Douglas firs and keep your eyes peeled for Steller’s Jays, chickadees, Brown Creepers, kinglets, and several woodpecker species. Follow the Visitor Center Trail to the estuary viewing platform for a chance to see ducks, herons, and belted kingfishers.
The sight of a short-lived gold rush in the 1860s, Goldstream Provincial Park sees the return of thousands of Chum Salmon to spawn every year from mid-October through December. With the spawn come the birds! The salmon attract a frenzy of bald eagles, mergansers, and gulls (who jockey with the eagles for the best spots at the buffet). You might encounter some non-bird excitement, too, with Black Bears and River Otters living in the area!
Located in the heart of the city, the 4.5km Ed Nixon Trail takes you through forested areas and runs alongside the southwestern curve of Langford Lake. Watch for birds out on the lake, such as American Coots, mergansers, and plenty of different duck species. Start the trail at Langford Lake Beach Park or from Goldstream Ave.
Swallow species such as Barn, Tree, Violet-green, Bank, Cliff, and Northern Rough-winged are not an uncommon sight over the lakes and fields. In the trees there’s a lot of colour with American Goldfinches, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Steller’s Jays, and several warbler species frequenting the area.
Exploring The Langford Bird Trail Outpost is an easy journey for those coming from Victoria, just a 20-30 minute drive. Victoria itself is accessible by ferry from Metro Vancouver, Seattle, and Port Angeles or by air from nearly anywhere. For those coming from up Vancouver Island, Langford is just on the other side of the Malahat. The Langford Outpost also makes for a perfect addition to the beginning or the end of a Central Vancouver Island Bird Trail adventure.
Check out the self-guided itineraries of The Langford Bird Trail Outpost to plan your next birding adventure!