Saturday, December 9, 2017

RBA: BROWN THRASHER in Cranbrook - Dec 9th

At 1:45 pm on Dec 9th-2017, Ryan Tomlinson found a Brown Thrasher in Joseph Creek. This location is directly across from Greg Ross and Katrin Powell's home; who have a Northern Cardinal visiting their yard since Nov 7th at 213 17th Ave N.

Map to location of bird HERE

At 2:45pm the bird was relocated in the same location by Chris Charlesworth and photographed.

The bird was not relocated on Dec 10th, despite multiple observers looking.

This is the 39th record for the province of BC.

Brown Thrasher in Cranbrook - Photo: Chris Charlesworth

RBA: SUMMER TANAGER in Vancouver - Dec 9-10th

At 8:25am on Dec 9th-2017, Wendy Kahle found an immature male Summer Tanager (red feathers appear on the bird's face and back) at her home near W 71st Ave in Vancouver. The bird has a bill deformity but is coming to her suet feeder on her patio in her backyard. The bird can be viewed from the public lane (Avery Ave), behind the property. It may also be possible to view it from the Arbutus greenway. Please do not trespass on her property or in the townhouse complex. Please be respectful of private property.

Map to where to stand to view her patio feeder HERE.

On Dec 10th, the bird continues in the same location as of 4:15pm and is being viewed by multiple observers from Avery Ave and the Arbutus Greenway.

This is the 6th record for the province of BC and 1st for Metro Vancouver.

Imm. Male Summer Tanager with bill deformity in Vancouver - Photo: Liron Gertsman
Immature Male Summer Tanager in Vancouver - Photo: Rosemary Clapham

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

RBA: Another Male KING EIDER in Vancouver - Dec 4-9th

At 3pm on Dec 4th-2017, Peter Woods found a male King Eider at Stanley Park in Vancouver. The bird was near to shore allowing for close views. It was between the north end of English Bay and the Second Beach swimming pool. It was viewed from the seawall off Stanley Park Drive in a small Surf Scoter flock until 4:20pm, when it became dark and the observer left.

A map to exact location HERE

At 8:10 am on Dec 5th-2017 it was viewed by multiple observers at the same time that the male King Eider was being viewed in Berth 5 in Tsawwassen. To read about the Delta bird click HERE.

The Vancouver male King Eider was relocated with six Surf Scoters off the north end of English Bay off the seawall at Beach Ave, near the Sylvia Hotel.

A map to exact location HERE.

At 8am on Dec 6th the Eider was relocated with a large flock of Surf Scoters about 150m off the parking lot, just north of the 2nd beach swimming pool.

At 1:10pm on Dec 7th, the King Eider was seen near the SeaBus terminal at Waterfront Station in a large raft of Surf scoters. It was still present as of 3:30pm.

At 1:30pm on Dec 8th, the bird continues as viewed from the Seabus near the tip of Canada Place.

On Dec 9th, 10:30am the bird continues at Canada Place.

Map to Canada Place location HERE.

The bird was not relocated on Dec 10th, despite multiple observers looking.

An aside: On Dec 2nd-2017, Ryan Terrill reported seeing a bird that he thought was "undoubtedly a Female King Eider" offshore from the "Star Princess" cruise ship between UBC and Lighthouse Park. His description fit a female Eider and it was last seen flying north with a Surf Scoter flock towards Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. However, due to distance and unidentifiable photos, other Eider species could not be ruled out. Therefore, that record had to be left unconfirmed. There are now 3 potential King Eiders in Vancouver.

If this male King Eider in Vancouver is in fact a second individual, it would represent the 36th record for the province of BC.

Male King Eider in Vancouver - Photo: Peter Woods

Friday, November 17, 2017

RBA: LITTLE GULL in Penticton - Nov 17-18th

At 9am on November 17-2017, Chris Charlesworth and Jesse Hannebauer found a First-winter Little Gull in Penticton. The bird is actively feeding 150m offshore off of Lakeshore Drive W, between the "Peach" on the beach and the "SS Sicamous" Boat on Okanagan Lake in Penticton. Photographs were obtained.

Map to location HERE

The Gull continues as of 4:30pm on Nov 18th. It is staying mostly off the end of the old Lakeshore Hotel and Casino Pier and has been viewed by multiple observers. The bird is best viewed with a scope.

Map to location of pier and Gull HERE

One observer reported seeing the gull at 8:30am but despite multiple observers looking, it has not been relocated by anyone else on Nov 19th or 20th.

This is the 98th record for the province of BC and the first record for the Okanagan.

Imm. Little Gull. Penticton, BC. Nov 17, 2017. Photo: Don Cecile.
Imm. Little Gull. Penticton, BC. Nov 17, 2017. Photo: Don Cecile.
Imm. Little Gull. Penticton, BC. Nov 17, 2017. Photo: Don Cecile.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

RBA: NORTHERN CARDINAL in Cranbrook - Nov 7-Dec 8th

A female Northern Cardinal was found by Katrin Powell and Greg Ross at 9:50am on November 7th-2017. The bird was in the front yard of their home at 213-17th Ave N., as it visited her feeder with black-oil sunflower seeds. It was present for 40 mins.

If accepted by the BC Bird Records Committee, this would represent a first confirmed record for British Columbia. Provenance will have to be considered, as cardinals are kept as cage birds in some areas. However, they have been reported in Alberta and confirmed by the Alberta Bird Records Committee as vagrants. Northern Cardinals have also bred successfully in Alberta and the first confirmed breeding record there was 2009. BC has a hypothetical record from Prince George in 1994 that was never confirmed and a carcass of one was found in March 2014 in Nanaimo.

The time of year and the part of the province where it showed up bodes well for a vagrant. Also, this is the time of year (late fall/winter) when many eastern vagrants show up out west. The other thing that lends credence for this bird being of wild origin is that it is a female. Most (but not all) caged birds from collectors (not breeders) are male.

The public is allowed to look at the bird as it visits the feeder in the yard from the sidewalk. Please respect other homeowners in the area by not blocking driveways and not pointing binoculars at homes. Please do not trespass on the homeowner's property or yard. 

The bird has been viewed by multiple observers coming to the feeder at their yard. It has also been seen across the street, sitting in the brush adjacent to Joseph Creek.

*On Dec 5th a Hoary Redpoll was found by Danny Tyson in the same yard. The bird is still present as of Dec 7th as well.*

The Northern Cardinal was last seen in the same location on Dec 8th.

The bird was not relocated on Dec 9th or 10th, despite multiple observers looking.

Female Northern Cardinal in Cranbrook - Photo: Michael Klotz

Female Northern Cardinal in Cranbrook - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


At 1:50pm on October 24th-2017, Krista Kaptein found a White Wagtail at Point Holmes in Comox. The bird was with Golden-crowned and Savannah Sparrows on the upper beach, 500m east of the boat launch. It made a few chip notes and short flights but always returned to the same spot. She left the bird actively foraging on the beach at 2:10pm.

Point Holmes is located at 348 Lazo Rd in Comox.

Map to location HERE.

The bird has not been relocated on October 25th, despite multiple observers looking.

This is the 13th record for the province of BC.

White Wagtail in Comox - Photos: Krista Kaptein

RBA: KING EIDER in Delta - Oct 24-Dec 5th

At 9:15 am on October 24th-2017, Michael Klotz found an adult male King Eider at the end of the steel piling at Berth # 5 at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The bird was associating with a flock of Surf Scoters. This area is only open to paid passengers walking on or boarding a ferry by car. It is not open to the unpaid public. A walk on passenger fee is 17.20$ each way. Passengers are asked to board the ferry and not view it from the waiting room and leave. Please be respectful of BC Ferries rules.

PLEASE DO NOT WALK INTO THE TERMINAL WITHOUT PAYING FOR A TICKET. Remember birders want to see the bird after you, so please act in the best interest of all.

A scope is suggested to best view this bird. 

As of Dec 5th, the bird (who is now in almost full breeding plumage) continues frequenting in between Berth 3, 4 and 5.

The bird was not relocated on Dec 6th.

Map to location of bird HERE.

A discount parking lot, priced at 11$ a day with free shuttle, is located nearby HERE. Short and Long-term parking are also available at the ferry terminal.

This is the 35th record for the province of BC.

Male King Eider in Tsawwassen - Photos: Blair Dudeck
Adult Male King Eider in Delta, 11/26/17 - Photos: Liron Gertsman

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

RBA: BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER in Sechelt - Oct 17-19th

At 2:40pm on October 17th-2017, John Hodges found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Wilson Creek Estuary in Sechelt. The bird was in the bushes between the big sand pile and the estuary. It called briefly and posed on top of a bush that was 4 metres in front of him. John was able to view the bird for brief periods on and off for about 5 minutes but was unable to get a photo. He lost the bird soon after and it was not relocated as of posting time.

A map to where the bird was found at the Estuary is HERE

A map to where to park at Wilson Creek Estuary can be found HERE.

Wilson Creek Estuary is located at 1580 Field Rd, Sechelt.

The bird was last seen in the same location on Oct 19th. It has not been relocated since.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

RBA: COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD in Powell River - Sept 6-Dec 7th

On Sept 6th-2017, Ken and Kathleen Pritchard found an adult male Costa's Hummingbird at a window feeder on their property "SeaSide Escape Retreat." The bird was first dismissed as an Anna's Hummingbird, hence the delay in them getting the word out. This property is located at 2102 Donkersley Rd in Powell River and is open to the public. Please call them first at (six, zero, four) - (three, four, four-one, two, three, five) before going to view this bird as a courtesy to them and per their request. Please be respectful of all guests and the homeowners private property as this is a resort.

The bird has been viewed by multiple observers and continues as of Dec 7th.
Map to location HERE.

This is the second Costa's Hummingbird occurring in the province right now. The other is in Abbotsford, please see HERE. 

Adult Male Costa's Hummingbird in Powell River - Photos: Kathleen Pritchard

Monday, October 2, 2017

RBA: BROOWN BOOBY in Richmond - October 2nd

At 12:30pm on October 2-2017, Mark Hamel found an adult Brown Booby. The bird flew onto his fishing vessel as he passed by active pass near Mayne Island. The bird remained perched on the vessel as he traveled the Strait of Georgia until he came to Sand Heads in Richmond. The bird flew off the ship as he came into the mouth of the Fraser River and perched on the lighthouse in the water. He then watched it fly off as he continued on into Steveston Harbour.

Exact location of where he last saw the Booby HERE.

This location is at the end of Steveston Jetty and is only accessible by boat.

Adult Brown Booby in Richmond - Photo: Mark Hamel