The Birdman of Ambleside

Every once in a while, I’ll hop in my car and head out on the road – with no particular destination in mind.  Today, there’s a Pride Day Parade in the downtown Vancouver area, and they’re expecting hundreds of thousands of participants and onlookers.  The Prime Minister of Canada is attending this year’s parade.  But I will not be visiting the event.

Instead, I’ve decided to drive to the Richmond skytrain station and go to the Waterfront Station to catch the seabus to North Vancouver.  I know exactly where I want to go, but this will be the first time that I’m taking a bus from Lonsdale Quay to Park Royal, where I’ll start my walk.

I arrived at Park Royal at 9:15 AM and began walking along the seawall towards Dundarave Beach Park, in West Vancouver.  Of all of the walks in the Lower Mainland, this is one of my favorites.  After about an hour, I reached Dundarave Beach.

I wanted to take a short video of the water globe that was donated by the German community.  It is a huge rotating globe of the earth rotating in perpetual motion!

Here is a video clip:  German Friendship Globe

On my way back, I saw a fellow sitting on a bench at Ambleside Beach.  He was staring out to sea.  And just as I passed him, I noticed that he had a tropical bird on his shoulder.  I smiled at him and asked if I could take a picture of his beautiful bird.  He smiled back, and suddenly the bird climbed down off of his shoulder and walked along the bench towards me and then stared up at me as I was filming him.

Here is a video clip:  The Birdman of Ambleside

And then the kind old man offered to let Babe sit on my shoulder!   I tried to hold my cell phone camera in one hand and take a video clip of the particular moment!

Here is a video clip:  Babe on Danny’s shoulder

It was even more thrilling than when Rosie the tarantula walked from my shoulder, up my neck and then perched herself on my face!

Rosie the Tarantula – from the set of Last Chance Casting                Photo by Suzette  Laqua

The man mentioned that his bird could live to be 65 years old.  I said that I was 68 years young and he quickly shot back that he was 98 years young!  We shook hands, and I thanked him for making my day.  By the way, I just made up the ‘Birdman of Ambleside’ nickname – because I had forgotten to ask him for his name.

Anyway, I finally got back to Park Royal and checked my fit app to see that I had walked just under 10 KMs.

I walked over to Marine Drive and caught the 239 Bus to Lonsdale Quay to catch the seabus back to the city.   While on the crowded seabus, I noticed a young father holding a very young boy in his arms and he was lovingly pointing out things of interest to the boy.  I can’t think of anything more pleasing to the human eye, than a parent showing that much care, attention, and love to their child!

And then after the 15-minute crossing, I was on the Canada Line skytrain back to Richmond.   I’ve been smiling ever since I met Babe.  I think that I am going to go back to Ambleside next Sunday to see if I can see the old man and his Babe.

When I left the house this morning, I didn’t expect to have such a heart-warming day!  Sad that I couldn’t have shared it with you!

Dedicated to the Birdman of Ambleside & his Babe



Today’s tunes (from Danny’s library of purchased music):  


An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor living in Vancouver, BC (as in almost pregnant). His other passions include: patient advocate (he had Stage 3 Throat Cancer) ; daily power walks at the Promenade in White Rock; and of course, spoiling his dog Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).

6 thoughts on “The Birdman of Ambleside

  1. Hi Dan
    That was a fun story.
    I know Ambleside beach and it’s a beauty of an area and view.
    Babe incidentally I recognize to be an African grey.
    I read a book once about an African grey and their kind and visited the vancouver island world parrot refuge in coombs bc 3 times before it’s closure 3 years ago when the owner died. They had African greys among their numerous species.
    An African grey doesn’t just imitate words but will sactually speak with thought and Intention. They are extremely intelligent.
    I’m wondering if you went back to see babe and the the birdman of Ambleside yesterday.

    1. Hey Pete,
      Thanks for the clarification about the bird. The chap wasn’t there yesterday but the weather wasn’t the best, so that may be why. I plan to walk there again this weekend, with hopes of writing a story about him and Babe. I’m also thinking that Holly would love having an African Grey bird as a playmate – so I’ll be doing a little research. Hope that all is well with you! Hugs, Danny

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