Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BLUE GROSBEAK, Metchosin - Aug. 25

A Blue Grosbeak was found the morning of August 25th at Rocky Point, Metchosin, by Ann Nightingale. The bird was seen for several minutes where it perched in the cattails at the edge of a pond after flying in from a grassy field. The bird was calling repeatedly during the several minute observation.

Important note: Rocky Point is on Department of National Defense land. There is no public visitation of this site. 

Words defy me. Blue Grosbeak, Metchosin. Photo: Ann Nightingale
Additional photos and an audio/visual clip can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/28936564@N08/with/20859677126/

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Not a BLUE GROSBEAK, Bowen Island: August 19-20

Update: Many more photos of the purported Blue Grosbeak have surfaced, and the bird is now believed to be a Purple Finch. Original photos appeared to show, and it was to my knowledge that field observers saw, bluish feathers on the bird. I believe that most of the observers are now in agreement that these were artifacts of the stage of moult.

At ~11:30 am on August 19th Ben Keen found what was thought at the time to be a possible Blue Grosbeak in heavy moult at his residence on Bowen Island. The bird was only seen for a couple minutes on the 19th. It was relocated briefly on the morning of August 20th by the original observer, and by other birders at 12:42 pm that same date.

To arrange a visit, please email Ben at ben DOT keen AT gmail DOT com

One ugly bird. This troublesome critter made feeder appearances on Aug. 19th-20th. Photo: Ben Keen

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Little Stint in Ladner!

Kevin Louth found a Juvenile Little Stint between 104th and 112th at Boundary Bay at 3:30pm on August 8th. The bird flew in on its own calling and was last seen flying East.

More details will be posted here as they come in.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Apparent LITTLE STINT at Pantage Lake near Quesnel

August 2 - Rod Sargent photographed this small shorebird at Pantage Lake that most agree looks like an adult Little Stint in fading alternate plumage. Pantage Lake (NW of Quesnel in central BC) is continuing to turn up some fantastic birds thanks to regular coverage by Rod and fellow Quesnel birder Adrian Leather. Past highlights from this site include recording 20+ Sharp-tailed Sandpipers at one time, 2 Ruffs, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and presumed nesting Arctic Tern. *Unfortunately, access to the site is very difficult as it is mostly surrounded by private land and the lake is fringed with expansive marshy vegetation so requires several hours of tough kayaking/canoeing even if you know where to go. As far as I know, the bird has not been re-sighted.
Features suggestive of Little Stint include bight orange tones to the face, colour, wing-coverts, and especially the tertials (Red-necked Stints tent to have dull tertials), pale throat, and overall structure. Peep identification, particularly in molt can be a tricky task so please comment if you have reason to believe this is NOT a Little Stint (Photo: Rod Sargent).

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

White-tailed Kite in Lower Mainland, August 4 and 14

Peter Candido spotted a White-tailed Kite at 9:30 am on August 4th at the Iona Island sewage ponds. The bird was originally located over the SW corner of the SW inner pond, where it was interacting and calling with a juvenile Peregrine Falcon. The bird was last seen flying off as it flew towards the Fraser River. Another observer reportedly heard a bird that sounded like a White-tailed Kite early in the morning of August 5th, but further searches throughout the day could not locate the bird.

On Aug 14th at 12pm, Joshua Brown and his father relocated what they believe to be a White-tailed Kite at Hoskins and Westover Rds (near Lynn Canyon) in North Vancouver (as it flew over them). Josh described what they say: "It had a very noticeabley long, thin tail, and broad, tapered wings. I would say its wingspan was about a metre. The head didn't project far beyond the wings. It looked quite greyish from below. It flew with a couple flaps, then a long glide. It continued that flight pattern the whole time I saw it."

Friday, July 31, 2015

Whooping Crane(s) summering in BC?

On June 14 two Whooping Cranes were seen flying north near Fintry (west side of Okanagan Lake) (P. Blokker). A second late-report of a single Whooping Crane just came in, this time from Scout Island at Williams Lake. On the evening of July 23rd a single Whooping Crane was observed flying out of the marsh and heading southeast, potentially to some roost site (J. Heal). 

These two sight-records and the time of year allude to possible summering of Whooping Cranes in the province. Such an event is not unprecedented, with two Whooping Cranes having spent June 30th to August 28th, 2003 being seen sporadically between Prince George and McBride. 

Monday, July 20, 2015


Just before 8am on July 20th, Graham Ford photographed a Crested Caracara preening along the North Nanaimo Shore (Just west of Entwhistle Drive, off Hammond Bay Rd).  The bird was last seen flying off to the south.  The same bird may have been seen flying past Neck Point (Just west of Piper's Lagoon) on July 16th. Updates and any further sightings would be appreciated.

Update: The report of the bird being seen around noon at Piper's Lagoon on the 20th was apparently in error. The first and last verified sighting was around 8 am on July 20th.

Photo: Graham Ford