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 continues in the same location as of Oct 19th.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

RBA: COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD in Powell River - Sept 6-Oct 20th

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 Oct 20th.

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

(ESCAPEE) BLACK VULTURE in Metchosin - Sep 27- Oct 14th

UPDATE: This bird appears to be an escapee. It was deemed non-releaseable from the state of Georgia (believed to be hit by a car) and was rehabbed at The Raptor Rescue Society in Duncan. It got loose in June when a tree fell on its aviary, as it was only one of three birds that apparently could still fly. BC Government officials were notified in June when it was seen soaring with Turkey Vultures. This bird was not banded by the facility before it escaped. This is not considered a wild Black Vulture for this reason, as it was held in captivity. It and the other 2 Black Vultures were considered unreleasable--i.e. unable to fly. They were made available for education purposes. The birds were brought to Canada with necessary permits and that is why the BC Government was notified when it flew away. As this bird and the Balaklava Island bird are both adults, we can assume (but can't prove) they are the same bird.

At noon on September 27-2017, Avery Bartels watched a Black Vulture soar over the RPBO Pedder Bay banding station and Glenrosa Farm Restaurant in Metchosin. The bird was soaring with twenty Turkey Vultures and it was viewed for ten minutes by multiple observers. The Black Vulture soared about 500m from where they were hawk watching. The bird circled and then came closer before it drifted away. It was seen 30 mins later by other observers off Rocky Point Rd just before the junction with Pedder Bay Rd.

This is most likely the same bird first found on September 5th by Ivan Dubinsky on Balaklava Island, see HERE.

For reference the Glenrosa Restaurant is located at 5447 Rocky Point Rd in Metchosin. The Pedder Bay Banding Station is open to the public and has the best vantage point for Vulture viewing. A map to the banding station is located HERE.

Parking is in the grassy area adjacent to the marina parking lot. Park against the log behind the check-in kiosk to avoid inadvertently trapping boat trailers in the lot. If, for any reason, you are unable to park behind the kiosk then please be careful where you park. If you park too close to the boat trailers fishermen may not be able to get out. Leave at least 2 or 3 car lengths distance between the trailer hitch and your car.

As of 2:15pm the bird was still being seen off of Rocky Point Rd just before the Matheson Lake Rd turnoff.

* Other than the spots mentioned above, people may want to look for this bird at the hawk watch site at Beechy Head at East Sooke Regional Park in Sooke.

The bird was never relocated on Sept 29th, despite mulitple observers looking.

On Oct 3rd-2017, the bird was relocated at 6:30pm by Taylor Mar, as it was feeding on a deer carcass on his property on Lisandra Rd off Arden Rd in Metchosin. He photographed the bird as it perched on a nearby tree with Turkey Vulture.

The bird continues as of Oct 14th at 10:30 am at Pedder Bay.

Birders are welcome on the road near 4760 Lisandra Rd but please do not trespass on the property and be respectful of neighbours as well.

Map to location HERE

A video of the Black Vulture eating the deer carcass on their property can be seen below. Video Credit to Taylor Mar.


This bird was deemed unreleasable in Georgia and is a presumed escapee from the Raptor Rehab Society's facility in Duncan. 

Black Vulture perched to the left of a Turkey Vulture - Photo: Taylor Mar

Black Vulture in Metchosin - Photos: Blair Dudeck

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

RBA: COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD in Abbotsford - April 2-Oct 12th

On April 2nd, Michael Dossett found an adult male Costa's Hummingbird as it came to his backyard feeder.

The bird continues as of Oct 12th.

This home is not open to the public.

Male Costa's Hummingbird in Abbotsford - Photo: Michael Dossett

Saturday, September 16, 2017

RBA: CURLEW SANDPIPER in Point Roberts and Delta - Sept 10-17th

At 11:30am on Sept 10th - 2017, Mary Taitt, Hank Tseng, Anne Murray and Julian Skes found and photographed an adult Curlew Sandpiper. The bird was in the SW end of the West Field at Reifel Bird Sanctuary and was viewed by multiple observers. It was associating with a flock of Western Sandpipers. The flock with the bird in it was soon flushed after 15 mins of viewing by a Peregrine Falcon and was not relocated that day. This bird is most likely tidal driven, so plan your visits around high tide.

Reifel is located at 5191 Robertson Rd in Delta and is open from 9am-4pm. The admission cost for adults is 5$. 

Map to Reifel HERE 

Map to where bird was seen in the park HERE.

The bird was not relocated in BC from Sept 11-16th.

At 5:30pm on Sept 16-2017, Mario Lam relocated the adult Curlew Sandpiper at Lighthouse Marine Park in Point Roberts, WA. 

Point Roberts is 5 mins from Tsawwassen, BC and accessed through Canada. It is birded primarily by British Columbians, hence why I am posting about it here.

The Washington Bird Records Committee has been notified. This is the 12th record for Washington State.

The bird was with a flock of Sanderlings on the beach, half way between the light beacon and the end of the park boundary (where the private beach and homes begin). He viewed the bird for 30 mins, photographed it and left it roosting there on the beach at 6pm.

Map to exact location of where bird was found HERE.

A valid passport/enhanced driver's license is required to enter the United States.

Lighthouse Marine Park is located at 811 Marine Drive in Point Roberts, WA.

Map to parking lot HERE.

At 5:30pm on Sept 17th, the Curlew Sandpiper was relocated by multiple observers at the foot of 96th St at Boundary Bay in Delta, BC - Canada. The bird was with a flock of Western Sandpipers and flew at 6:19pm and could not be relocated.

Map to where bird last seen on Sept 17th HERE.

This is the 12th record for the province of BC. The last Curlew Sandpiper was found at Sandspit in 2013 in Haida Gwaii.

The bird was not relocated on Sept 18th.

This adult Curlew Sandpiper was relocated in Point Roberts before it flew back to Canada - Photos: Mario Lam
Adult Curlew Sandpiper in flight showing its distinctive white rump in Delta - Photos: Devon Yu

Friday, September 15, 2017

RBA: WHITE-WINGED DOVE in Maple Ridge - Sept 12-15th

There is another White-winged Dove in BC, this time in Maple Ridge! The bird in Richmond is continuing to be seen as well, in the same location as of Sept 15th, see HERE

Sharon Talson has been watching a White-winged Dove that has been coming to her feeder several times a day at her home in Maple Ridge. The bird is associating with Eurasian Collared Doves and is very aggressive at the feeder. This bird was photographed at the same time as the other White-winged Dove that is being seen in Richmond; confirming two separate individuals.

The bird has been present every day in Maple Ridge, since Sept 12th and continues on Sept 15th.

This is the 19th record for the province of BC.

This home is not open to the public and the bird has not been seen since the 15th of Sept.

A second White-winged Dove is in Maple Ridge at the same time as another in Richmond - Photos: Sharon Talson

Sunday, September 10, 2017

RBA: 2 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS in Revelstoke - Sept 10th

At 8 am on Sept 10th-2017, Darlene and Daryl Cancelliere et al. found 2 adult Red-headed Woodpeckers in Greely, which is 12km East of Revelstoke. The birds were hawking insects from telephone poles near to a forested area beside the railroad tracks and an abandoned farm.

Directions: Turn off Hwy 1, 12 Km E of Revelstoke and follow Greely Road, and you will cross the bridge over the river until you see the railroad tracks by the abandoned farm.

One Red-headed Woodpecker was seen at 7pm in the same location.

This is the sixth record for the province of BC.

Map to the location where the birds were seen HERE

The birds were not relocated on Sept 11th, despite multiple observers looking.

One of 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers seen in Revelstoke - Photos: Darlene Cancelliere

RBA: WHITE-WINGED DOVE in Richmond - Sept 10-17th

At 7:45am on Sept 10th-2017, during the monthly Terra Nova Rural Park bird survey, a White-winged Dove was spotted by Steffany Walker and subsequently seen by all four other members of the survey group. The bird was with a flock of Rock Pigeons that frequents the parking lot next to the Terra Nova Adventure Playground at the far end of River Road where it meets the dyke.

The address is 2340 River Rd in Richmond.

The bird was viewed until 6:30pm in the same location near the playground and multiple observers are looking at it.

Map to location of where bird was seen HERE

This is the 18th record for the province of BC. This is the second record for the Metro Vancouver area and coincidentally both records were in Richmond.

As of Sept 17th - the bird is still present in a pine tree, beside the parking lot near the heritage building (just to the east of the playground).

The bird has not been relocated since Sept 17th.

Map to tree where bird has roosted past two days HERE

There is another White-winged Dove being seen in the province of BC as of Sept 15th in Maple Ridge as well, see HERE.

Richmond's 2nd White-winged Dove - Photo: Liron Gertsman
White-winged Dove in Richmond - Photo: Peter Candido

Saturday, September 9, 2017

RBA: SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS off the West Coast of Vancouver Island - Sept 7th

On the morning of Sept 7th-2017, while doing an offshore NOAA survey, Ryan Merrill et al. found and photographed 2 Scripps's Murrelets. The birds flushed in front of the boat they were on. They viewed the birds for 30 seconds as they flew along the NE edge of Nitinat Canyon. On the exact same date last year, Ryan Merrill et al. found 4 Scripps's Murrelets in almost the same location!.

GPS coordinates are: 48.236998, -125.660527.

One of 2 Scripps's Murrelets seen in Nitinat Canyon - Photo: Ryan Merill
 2 Scripps's Murrelets seen in Nitinat Canyon - Photo: Ryan Merill