The Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary is exceptional for bird watching, plus it offers an assortment of other attractions. Being a bird sanctuary, let’s focus on the birds first: At this location some of the most common sightings include snow geese, ducks and gulls. A broader list of birds sighted at this location includes Heermann's gulls, Bonaparte's gulls, ring-billed gulls, California gulls, western gulls, mew gulls, glaucous-winged gulls and Caspian terns. Shorebirds in season include black-bellied plover, black and ruddy turnstone, black oystercatcher, dunlin, dowitcher, killdeer, western and least sandpiper, sanderling, semipalmated plover and greater yellowlegs.
When it comes to the other options at this location, the Colwood Waterfront just on the opposite side of the road from the lagoon has an exceptionally long and sandy beach. Picnicking, paddleboarding, swimming and flying kites are all popular options, and the views on a clear day are exceptionally scenic with the Olympic Mountain Range across the Straight of Juan de Fuca. This saltwater lagoon is also located at the base of Royal Roads University, where the popular tourist destination of Hatley Castle is sited. Just to the east of Esquimalt Lagoon you will also find the Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites.