Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dec 9-16: Lesser Black-backed Gull continuing in Fraser Valley

First discovered on November 4th by Rick Toochin, this Lesser Black-backed Gull (one of very few records for the BC coast) has been tough to pin down over the last month. Rick refound it today (Dec 9) near the junction of Vye and Bowman Rds in Sumas Prairie, near Abbotsford.
Photo: Rick Toochin
Dec 16--Rick reports seeing it along Maher Rd very close to the US border; foraging with Glaucous-winged Gulls.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Retro Report: White-winged Dove in Steveston, BC (2002)

Alan Moat just rediscovered some photos he has of a White-winged Dove his daughter Janice spotted at their home roughly 12 years ago. This bird was not reported at the time and the photos went missing until just recently. Unfortunately the exact date cannot be ascertained at this time but Alan believes it was in the spring of 2002. Thanks for digging this up Alan!

Believe it or not this would be the first-record for the Vancouver checklist area!!!
Photo: Alan Moat [Steveston (Richmond) circa ~spring 2002]

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dec 1-6: WHITE-EYED VIREO near Nelson, BC (First Provincial Record)

UPDATE: No reported sightings on Dec 7. Apparently a 3-hour search was unsuccessful

UPDATE: RELOCATED ON DECEMBER 6th at 11am (Same area as on 5th)

From Janice Arndt: "It was seen close to yesterday's location, about 20-30 metres towards the lake from where Paul placed a ribbon (note: there are various bits of ribbon tied to bushes and trees in the area; I assumed the pink- and silver-striped ribbon was Paul's). I was able to watch the vireo for a minute or two and during that time it found and swallowed a substantial but unidentified food item from a hawthorn tree, which was nice to see. There were also a few Golden-crowned Kinglets nearby."

Paul Prappas and Craig Sandvig's diligent efforts paid off today.  Paul wrote on wkbirds: "The bird was located in a completely different part of Kokanee Creek Park from where we first discovered it.  Enter the park at Redfish Campground, go over the bridge, and head down to the river mouth. From the river mouth take the trail to your left, fork to the right and follow it along the grasslands which are on your right.  At the Grassland Trail junction, the bird was found.  We've tied a pink ribbon at that place."

Sweet, sweet documentation! (Photo: Paul Prappas)
This is fresh off the press - Paul Prappas wrote on wkbirds:

"Today, December 1, while conducting the Waterfowl count, Gary Davidson, Carolee Colter and I found an extremely out of range White-eyed Vireo at Kokanee Creek Park. There is absolutely no mistake as the bird came right by us and we all got wonderful looks at its white eye, bright yellow lores, overall yellow tinging with distinct wing bars. The wing bars are very bold and the overall yellow is quite bright. Much brighter than the goldfinches this time of year.

Unfortunately, we were unable to get photographs of the bird, but our hope is it will stay around for a day or two.

The bird was found in the wooded area between the Redfish Campground picnic area and the shore line, at about 11:30 AM. We stayed for a good 40 minutes, but were unable to locate the bird.

For those not familiar with the location, here is what I was sent: 17.5 km east of Nelson on W Arm of Kootenay Lake. Specifically: Red Fish Campground picnic area near lake.

Hopefully some lenses make their way out there and we can get some photo-documentation for the BC Bird Records Committee!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nov 23--Cape May Warbler in Clearwater

While this is a regular breeder in the spruce forests of the North Rockies and Peace River Region it's a doozie to find in the southern interior and since there hasn't been something to post on the main page for a while how about this mouth-watering pic!
Nov 23: This first-fall male Cape May Warbler showed well for Jacob Rudhe and Dennis Leonard near the Search-and-Rescue base in Clearwater. It was foraging along the open water that is released from the nearby fish hatchery. It will likely stay in this area as long as the water is not frozen. [Photo: Jacob Rudhe]

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cattle Egrets pushing north this fall

In recent years this species has been quite scarce or even absent in the province so it's nice to see a cluster of sightings from Vancouver Island and one in the far NW of the province in recent days. Below is a brief summary of 5 reports.
Tyee Rd bird (Photo: Liam Singh)
#1: October 3--SW of Kitwanga, Skeena Valley (N of Terrace)--Sandy Schreven

#2 Nov 7--Cattle Point, Victoria--Michael Shepard

#3: Nov 7--Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria area--John Costello & Chantal Jacques

#4: Nov 9-Dec 4--Shell Gas Station on Tyee Rd, Esquimalt (Victoria)--Steven Roais
*Most recently seen in NE corner of Helmckin Interchange (Dec 4)

#5: Nov 10-15+--Itattsoo Village (Ucluelet)--Adrian Dorst

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nov 9--Iceland Gull (Kumlien's) in Penticton

With more coverage there would likely be more of these turning up (especially on the coast) but since many are not photographed I thought I'd post this one I found this afternoon along Okanagan Beach in Penticton. Unfortunately this is the only usable photo I managed (Digi-scoped).

First cycle Iceland (Presumed Kumlien's) Gull with adult California Gull. Right after this photo was taken a fire-cracker-type noise flushed all the gulls. Will post updates if it sticks around. (Photo: Russell Cannings)

ID Features that makes this an Kumlien's Gull (the Canadian form of Iceland Gull):

  • Uniform pale plumage (i.e. Primaries do not contrast with mantle) eliminated Thayer's, Herring, California, Ring-billed, Mew.
  • This is aged as a "First Cycle" (Born this summer) based on fresh and neatly patterned plumage. Second cycles would be paler and look more washed out. Bill would likely be showing more pale pink by second-cycle as well. We use "cycle" to refer to the molt sequence as this does not always line up with specific seasons or "breeding/non-breeding"
  • Small body size and bill size/shape eliminated Glaucous-winged and Glaucous
  • In general, Iceland Gulls are smaller/paler versions of Thayer's Gulls; averaging smaller billed, more rounded head.
  • You can also think of them as mini Glaucous Gulls. 
  • Even with the above notes, these guys can be tricky to ID as gull complexes have so may variables (sexual dimorphism, hybrids, subspecies, etc)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Nov 8-26--Another Acorn Woodpecker! This one in Victoria

Klaus Emmaneel reports an Acorn Woodpecker near the 12th Hole on Cedar Hill Golf Course (Victoria area)--flying through the oaks around 230pm on Saturday.

Photo: Klaus Emmaneel

This is a first record for Vancouver Island and the 9th ever for BC.

*Still being seen on November 26th near the end of Diana Rd.

More photos.