Sunday, December 30, 2012

28 Dec -- Red-throated Pipits in Haida Gwaii

Continuing the streak of rarities in Haida Gwaii, Peter Hamel, Margo Hearne and Martin Williams located no fewer than five RED-THROATED PIPITS at the Massett Bird Sanctuary on 28 Dec.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

27 Dec -- SMEW in Haida Gwaii

The Massett Christmas Bird Count in Haida Gwaii was held today and a drake Smew has been reported. The bird was found with a flock of Mallards in Massett by Martin Williams. The bird was not relocated on 28 Dec.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lesser Black-backed Gull in Kelowna

An adult winter LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was found at the Maude Roxby Bird Sanctuary at the foot of Francis Ave in Kelowna the afternoon of Dec 26 (Chris Charlesworth & Ryan Tomlinson). While very rare throughout the province, this species is now annual in the Okanagan Valley. This represents the first record of Lesser Black-backed Gull in the valley so far this winter. In a late report, we've learned that what appears to be this same bird was photographed on the ice with other gulls at Robert Lk in Kelowna, on Dec 23 (Stu Weir).
                                                      Photo by Chris Charlesworth

Monday, December 24, 2012

RBA: TUFTED DUCK IN OSOYOOS

A female or immature TUFTED DUCK was found today along Lakeshore Dr. in S.E. Osoyoos. Bird was seen between Osoyoos Lk Regional Park and the Oasis RV Park. Found by Doug Brown on Dec 24.

Friday, December 21, 2012

LITTLE GULL--Ambleside Park, West Vancouver.

On the evening of Dec 21st, around 4:00pm Jeremiah Kennedy, Jess Findlay, and Ian Thomas located an adult winter plumage Little Gull feeding with a flock of around 60 Bonaparte's just off the rock jetties and wharfs at Ambleside  Park in West Vancouver. The bird was seen well for approximately 20 minutes before it got too dark to view. The bird was relocated again on the 22nd and 23rd spending time with Bonaparte's along the seawall and Capilano River mouth as well. If people are going to look for it, I would suggest a scope for optimum viewing. For those unfamiliar with the species, look for a small gull with dark underwings and white primaries hanging out with the Bonaparte's.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SCARLET TANAGER in Williams Lake

Phil Ranson has reported a Scarlet Tanager in Williams Lake.  The bird was reported as a "mystery bird" on the Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 16th; Phil confirmed the sighting today and obtained a couple of good photos.  The home-owner is fine with birders coming to see the bird, but Phil has offered to regulate things for the time being by being the source of details about where to find the bird.  So, if you'd like to look for the tanager, you can call or email Phil (250-398-7110, ranson1@telus.net).
Scarlet Tanager, Williams Lake, 19 Dec 2012.  photo Phil Ranson

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Revelstoke BRAMBLING still present to at least April 4!!

RBA: BRAMBLING continues in Revelstoke. Dec 17 to April 2 (Darlene Cancelliere). The bird is visiting a feeder in apple tree in front yard at 407 Edward St. Visitors welcome.
                                          Photo by Darlene Cancelliere

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dec 17 Slaty-backed Gull in Chilliwack

A Slaty-backed Gull was observed and photographed in Chilliwack this afternoon. For more info and pictures click Here
Dec 16 to Jan 10, RBA: BRAMBLING in Summerland. 

This bird, a winter plumage male Brambling, was found on Penticton's Christmas Bird Count, December 16, by Tom Lowery and Robyn de Young. The bird is frequenting their feeder in the Trout Creek area of Summerland. The address is 5816 Nixon Rd. You can see the feeder from the road. Please respect private property and note that this is very close to an elementary school so please use caution while driving. The homeowners say it is best to avoid the time between 8 & 9 AM as the area is very busy with kids coming to school. Most recently, bird was present between 11:15 and 11:25 AM on Jan 10 (Mike Force).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

14 Nov - 21 March -- CITRINE WAGTAIL in COMOX!!!

Update: still present March 21

Photos of the Comox wagtail have now been taken by several observers (18th Nov, am) and clearly show a first winter Citrine Wagtail! This bird was first found on Nov 14th by David and Adele Routledge and seen again and photographed on the 17th. Congratulations to the finders of this first Canadian and second North American Record, and thanks to members of the local birding community who initiated contact with the landowner to permit access to the site.

First winter Citrine Wagtail, Comox, 18th Nov 2012 (photo: Jeremy Gatten)

Diagnostic features supporting the identification include an overall pale and light grey bird with a lack of any olive or brown tones on the upperside. The absence of any breast markings, extensive white tips to the median and greater coverts forming two bold white wing bars, pale lores, a bold white supercilium and white undertail coverts are also useful for separating this bird from both 1st winter Yellow and White Wagtails. The most distinctive feature, however, is the "open" face pattern showing only slightly dark auriculars bordered posteriorly by a neat whitish crescent.

Direction to the site are as follows: From Courtenay, take 17th St heading east out of town. Cross the bridge and turn right. Continue towards Comox approximately 500m to the second dirt track on the left. The bird is being seen 100+m along this track beyond the the steel cable blocking vehicle access. Please note that this is private land and for those wishing to see the bird, permission has been granted to walk down the farm track but NOT to enter the property on the left side of the road. Please be considerate and respectful and park your vehicle responsibly.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

11 Nov -- CAVE SWALLOW at Iona!

Photo: Peter Candido
A CAVE SWALLOW was present today (Nov 11) feeding over the Southern outer pond on Iona Island and was seen up until dusk. Jamie Fenneman, Jeremiah Kennedy and Paul Levesque, found the bird at around 13:00 hours. This is a first BC record of this species and has been photographed repeatedly. The bird is still present Nov 18th.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3 -- Little Gull in Victoria

This afternoon Louis Haviland found an adult Little Gull at the Ogden Breakwater in Victoria. The observation is supported by a series of distant photos (all posterior views) showing black underwings and a clean grey upperwing with no black tips to the primaries. This is third Little Gull reported from BC this year but the only one from Vancouver Island. Updates will be posted as received.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 1/2 -- Elegant Tern in Victoria

On November 1 Steven Roias reported an ELEGANT TERN from Cattle Point in Victoria. The bird was still present in the area today (3rd) and appears to move between Cadboro Bay and Oak Bay, periodically passing Cattle Point. There are very few records of this species in BC, with most during August and September. Also present at Cattle Point on the 1st was a Tropical Kingbird (Iain Cruickshank) which left the area heading southwest and has not been refound.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 19th/20th -- RUSTIC BUNTING and BRAMBLINGS in Haida Gwaii

Canada Big Year Listers Brian Elder, Phil Cram, Mike Mulligan and Ray Woods teamed up with local birders Margo Hearne, Peter Hamel and Martin Williams on 19 October to find some classic west coast fall rarities on Haida Gwaii.

Heading the line up on the 19th, Margo spotted a first winter RUSTIC BUNTING with a flock of juncos, along the coast to the east of the Massett Golf Course. There have been only eight reports of this species from BC, the most recent from southern Vancouver Island on 22 Oct 2007.

Rustic Bunting near Massett, Haida Gwaii, 19 Oct 2012 (photo: Ray Woods)

Continuing their streak, the big listers then found two BRAMBLINGS and a juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper near the Sandpit Airport on Saturday 20 October. Terrific birding indeed! Those interested can follow the progress of these intrepid birders at: http://canadafurandfeathers.blogspot.ca/

Two Bramblings at the Sandspit Airport, Haida Gwaii, 20 Oct 2012 (photo: Brian Elder)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

BLUE-GREY GNATCATCHER in VICTORIA

The Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher originally found at Swan Lake a couple of days ago by Steven Roias was relocated this morning, October 4, near the parking lot just before 9am (C. Saunders).

**UPDATE** The bird is still present as of Oct 11.  It is found most reliably around the parking lot and nature house.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sep 15--Sprague's Pipit near Cranbrook

On Sep 15th, Dean Nicholson sent me this report after viewing a pipit at the "Spray Irrigation Ponds" (which I assume is the same area where the White-rumps Sandpipers were seen earlier this summer). This is just off Hwy 3 after making the turnoff to Fernie just east of Cranbrook.

From Dean:

"Alongside the northern pond is a service road that grows in with a variety
of weeds.  The area is full of sparrows throughout the breeding season, more
so now as they feed on seeds and grasshoppers.  I was walking along the road
observing the birds as they flew up.  Savannah Sparrows are most common,
with White-Crowned, Song, Dark-eyed Juncos, Yellow-rumped Warblers and the
odd other bird thrown in.  Yesterday there were also about 6 American Pipits
in the area, although not directly where this bird was observed.

The weeds can be very thick once off the road, and moderately thick on the
road (it is not driven on much).  The Sprague's Pipit flew up from a less
thick patch on the road and quickly dove down onto some barer ground about
10m away.  It hunkered down behind a small weed.  Even though I saw exactly
where it dropped I was surprised that it took me 10 seconds to relocate it
with my binos, it was so still.  This is not the way American Pipits seem to
react, which is to fly up and circle around calling.  The bird remained
frozen for about 30 sec and then stood up in a more alert position.  It did
not move away while I observed it.  It was not in the company of other
birds.  Certainly not with the American Pipits which were elsewhere.

When I saw it my first thought was "That seems different, more like a
Sprague's Pipit".  The bird had had streaking on its upper breast only, with
a pale belly and vent.  It had a pronounced buffy malar stripe and an
obvious white eye ring.  The crown had fine streaking.  Overall the face was
quite pale.  There were two white/pale wing bars.  The legs were decidely
pinkish, not dark.  The outer tail feathers were white, quite noticably so.
The impression was of a slim, long pale pipit without the typical
non-breeding colouration of an American Pipit.

I saw the bird in great late afternoon light.

I went back out this afternoon with a camera but couldn't find the bird
."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sept 15th -- Little Gull at Harrison Lake

Rick Toochin reports excellent birding at Harrison Lake on Saturday the 15th September with a juvenile LITTLE GULL present. Also seen were eight Parasitic Jaeger and a juvenile Arctic Tern.


Juvenile Little Gull at Harrison Lake, 15 Sept (photo: Rick Toochin)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Aug 16-18--Black-headed Gull (Sechelt)

Penny does it again! After finding a juv FRANKLIN'S GULL near Sechelt a short while ago, she photographed this adult BLACK-HEADED GULL at Porpoise Bay on August 16th!
Photo: Penny Hall
If you have any alternative ideas on the identification, please comment. Features that seems to suggest BH Gull include, narrow blackish primary tips, thin red bill, light grey mantle, head shape.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

White-rumped Sandpipers near Cranbrook

From Dianne Cooper:

"3 White-rumped Sandpipers were obsverved in a small mixed flock of Baird's and Least Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs at the central dam of the Cranbrook Effluent Irrigation Reservoir Aug 11, 2012. They gave a good long showing just feeding slowly in a small area."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

3rd-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull in Kelowna

Aug 1--Possibly the *first summer record for BC(?)--a 3rd-cycle LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen today at Alki Lake (south end of the Glenmore Landfill) in Kelowna, by Chris Charlesworth. The juvenile Franklin's Gull reported last week is also still present along with 4 other gull species.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 24--Indigo Bunting in Revelstoke

Bit of a late report but the bird may still be in the area. On July 24th, Devon Anderson found a male Indigo Bunting near the Revelstoke airport. The bird has not been seen since.

July 23-24: Male PAINTED BUNTING in Ucluelet

On July 23 and 24th, Jerry Herst and Julie Dorfman (both of Chicago, IL, USA), observed a male PAINTED BUNTING visiting a feeder at the On the Inlet B&B in Ucluelet, BC.

No word yet as to whether it's still around or if there are photos.

Stay tuned...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Red-necked Stint Boundary Bay July 27th-28th

A Red-necked Stint was observed at Boundary Bay. It was seen at the foot of 96th street among a flock of peeps by Kevin Louth around 3:00pm.
Photo: Jim Martin
Present again on the evening high tide (July 28)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 22--Possible Little Gull on Murtle Lake (Wells Gray Provincial Park)

An adult LITTLE GULL was seen at close quarters and well-described by Jeff Morgan (although without binoculars/camera) who was paddling around Murtle Lake on July 22.

It's a very large lake and is tricky to access, but a follow-up check to the near-section of the lake on July 24th turned up 0 gulls.

Rangers have been notified so if any subsequent sightings happen we will let you know!


Friday, July 20, 2012

COMMON GREENSHANK + RED-NECKED STINT! (Sandspit)

More details pending-- all I know right now is that Peter Hamel observed a breeding plumaged adult COMMON GREENSHANK near the Sandspit airport on July 18. Also recently in the same area was a breeding-plumaged RED-NECKED STINT.

I believe the greenshank would represent the first BC record.

UPDATE: Thanks to Rick Toochin for passing on more info from Peter (who is away on holiday):


The Greenshank was an adult in breeding plumage feeding at Little Spit at Sandpit as the tide was rising. There was an adult breeding plumaged Pacific Golden Plover near it as well as a small flock of peeps. The bird was well observed in a scope and binoculars just unfortunately Peter didn’t have
a camera with him. The bird came in fairly close before a Raven flew over and flushed it away.
There were a few Ravens nearby as they were trying to catch a family baby Oystercatchers and the adults were making a hell of a lot of noise. Peter felt that this commotion made the birds like the Greenshank nervous and the rest of the birds flighty. Peter was able to hear it call when the bird flew, see the white on the back in flight , and when it was sitting the green legs and the thick upturned bill, etc. He was in disbelief when he found it but has seen this species before on his travels in Europe and Asia in the past. He is really sad he didn’t have a camera with him at the time!

Costa's Hummingbird in Gibsons

Photo courtesy Penny Hall

Barry Janyk reports the Sunshine Coast's first EVER Costa's Hummingbird in the Gibsons area. If you're in the area and would like to see the bird, please phone Barry at 604-886-4713

To see more pictures, visit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pennyhallphotography/7613629510/

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ash-throated Flycatcher in Agassiz

From Rick Toochin:
[Agassiz is in the Fraser Valley]


"It was along Tuyttens Road very near Cutter Road.  From Highway 7 you just cross over the Rosedale Bridge heading towards Agassiz. Turn left down Whelpton Road then at the end of this road turn left on Tuyttens Road. Look for it in the habitat by the slough. This is very close to where birds have been reported before which begs the question why do they turn up here so much? In the same area was a Sora calling, 1 Western Kingbird, 2 Eastern Kingbirds and a nesting Kestrel. I tried for the reported Indigo Bunting and only had singing male Lazuli Buntings along McGregor Road."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Brown Pelicans popping up in Salish Sea

On July 2nd, a single BROWN PELICAN was observed by Ian Thomas near Pender Island. Now today (July 7), David Hutchison found one fishing close to the end of the Iona Jetty (near the Vancouver Int. Airport).

Perhaps this is a sign that this species will become a regular summer visitor in 2012 (which had been the case up until around 2009 when they became scarce--possibly due to La Nina).

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher near Pemberton

June 28--John Tschopp with this report: "While dealing with a customer in front of our shop, a small drab bird landed on the wooden fence. It was doing a lot of flitting and flying to and fro, Kinglet like behavior. Size about like Kinglet, but longer tail. In flight two prominent white marks would show on the lower half of tail. Distance 15 feet, no binoculars, no picture. Warm, overcast, no wind. At last it flew up into spruce chasing bugs along branches."


For location, click HERE.


No follow-up sightings yet.

Friday, June 29, 2012

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD near Cranbrook

Reported to eBird/Photo: Alan Barnard (photo):

-1 Broad-tailed Hummingbird, present for 4 days leading up to June 26th

-Visiting a feeder along the Ha Ha Creek Road, SE of Cranbrook (off Hwy 3)

---Has not been seen since the 26th


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

May/June 2012--Raining Black-throated Sparrows in BC

This spring has seen a remarkable influx of Black-throated Sparrows into southern Coastal and Central BC with a minimum of nine birds reported. In order of occurrence, with the most recent first:

26 June 2012 - Chutter Ranch near Merritt, Nicola Valley (Jarrod Hobbs)

14 June 2012 - Cinnamon Ridge access rd., Tranquille, Kamloops (Ellie Hill)

13 June 2012 - 5km west of Hope Airport (Rick Toochin): a different bird to the following

11 June 2012 - Jacks place, Delair Road, Hope Airport area (Rick Toochin): photo below

11 June 2012 - Scarfe Building, UBC (Tracy Lau)

11 June 2012 - Bridge Pond, Squamish River Estuary (Chris Dale): video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK3Qawd1OTs

9 June 2012 - start of Grant Narrows Trail, Pitt Lake (Roger and Andrew Foxall): still present 10 June with a second individual also reported.

27 May 2012 - Front and Alberts St., Yale (Aaron Gaffney): photo below

10 May 2012 - Osoyoos Airport (Doug Brown)


Black-throated Sparrow @ Hope Airport, 12 June 2012 (Rick Toochin)

Black-throated Sparrow in Yale, 27 May 2012 (Aaron Gaffney)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD in the Blaeberry

May 30--Doug Leighton is reporting a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird form his feeder in the Blaeberry (near Golden). Here is his report to eBird:

"Counting dusk hummer swarm at feeder at 9:55 PM (8:55 Pacific) when this obviously larger bird arrived to feed; had Nat Geo book at hand and clearly saw all other key features (including tail) with direct comparison to female RUHUs beside it. . Too late for photos tonight but I am 100% certain on this ID."

May 31--Update: Doug has been watching the feeders all morning and no BT yet. If it shows up again he would be happy to welcome birders so stayed tuned.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

BLACK-THROATED SPARROW in Yale

The bird was spotted by Aaron Gaffney in a yard at Front and Alberts Street in Yale. The bird was first spotted at 2pm and was seen briefly at the bird bath. It then flew up into a nearby fruit tree and then off towards a strip of trees by the river.

Photo: Aaron Gaffney 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER in Revelstoke

Harry van Oort has just reported a singing male Yellow-throated Warbler near his house in Revelstoke. The bird was heard and seen briefly earlier this morning but has not been seen since. This is only the second Yellow-throated Warbler record for BC and if it is found again, more details will be posted.

Yellow-throated Warbler in Revelstoke, 26 May 2012 (Harry van Oort)

Friday, May 25, 2012

SNOWY EGRET in Victoria

At 9:30am on May 25, Warren Drinnan found a Snowy Egret at Panama Flats in Victoria.

The bird was still present on the morning of May 29 (R. Shortinghuis).

Photo by Amelie Rousseau

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lesser Goldfinch in Princeton

May 19-20: Sue Elwell had a LESSER GOLDFINCH visit her Princeton-area feeder on these dates.

We will let you know if it returns!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

White-faced Ibis - Kelowna

May 20--This WHITE-FACED IBIS was found by Gwynneth Wilson et al. in the morning but it apparently stayed throughout most of the day. No word yet whether or not it is sticking around.

[Photo: Dean O'Dea]

This was at the mouth of Mission Creek in Kelowna. To check, drive south on Pandosy/Lakeshore Drive from Hwy 97, then turn right onto Bluebird Dr after crossing Mission Ck. From the end of Bluebird you can scan the sandy spit at the mouth of the creek.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Acorn Woodpecker in Sunshine Valley

An Acorn Woodpecker has been coming to a feeder in Sunshine Valley near Hope. Thanks to Brian Carson for the sighting. For more information on how to view the bird or to see more pictures please visit the link below. It was again seen today (May 18th).
http://bcbirding.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=rarebirds&action=display&thread=5431
[image]

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 13, 15--WHITE-FACED IBIS in Creston

On the morning of May 13, Gary Breault photographed this ibis along Speers Rd in Creston, before it took off with a flock of ducks. It has not been relocated but may very well be present somewhere in the maze of wetlands in that valley.

There again on the morning of the 15th!

May 14--SEDGE WREN in Penticton

Today (May 14) around noon, Jess Findlay and I (RC) flushed a small, sandy-coloured wren along a weedy hillside at the "Esplanade Trails" behind the Penticton Yacht Club. Right away we were given the impression of a Marsh/Sedge Wren and upon pursuing it up the hill and around a few bushes we had a few very brief views and heard it call several times. At one point a Song Sparrow chases it through the weeds right toward me and it landed near my feet, but slightly obscured, then darted beneath a log. 

I called my Dad who was up on the West Bench, and when he arrived we renewed the search and saw the bird fly from bush to bush twice then heard it call several times more--this time, the more diagnostic chip call: (http://www.xeno-canto.org/70080). It flew down off the grassy hill and down into the thick tangle that lines a wet ditch that parallels the beach and tennis courts. Both my Dad and Jess each had a brief look at it while I searched from above. 

All in all we followed it around for about 1 hour before losing it in the tangle. It will almost surely spend the rest of the day there but finding it is a huge challenge as it rarely calls and is extremely secretive. 

I will try again tomorrow morning and will post my findings.

No photos/recordings were obtained. House Wren was eliminated from consideration based on colouration, shape, voice, and behavior. Marsh Wren was eliminated partly by plumage, but more so by voice, with additional consideration given to habitat (no marsh for miles and the weather is fantastic so why would it touch down on a weedy hillside?).

This is the 4th record for BC and 1st for the Okanagan.

If you want to try for it, drive to the Penticton Yacht Club/tennis courts at the SE corner of Okanagan Lake in Penticton. Enter the forest at the main trail-head then take a left and follow the main trail that leads to the beach. The bird was observed both in the weedy and bushy hillside on the right side of the path, and down in the thicket that lines the tennis courts on the left side of the path.


May 16 UPDATE: The bird apparently called in response to a recording this morning! (Eva Durance)

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7--CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR

Iona Island (SOUTH JETTY)--Mostly between markers 134 and 140. The bird was spending most of its time on the South side of the pipe just along the peas and up on the rocks. Still present as of dusk May 7.
Not seen on the 8th.

Found by Tak Shabata.

Photo: Mike Tabak

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May 5--Loggerhead Shrike in Creston

May 5--This morning Gary Breault got brief looks at a "small shrike" near Duck Lake (north of Creston). I just happened to be passing through the area today so I joined Gary for a bit of local birding this afternoon and we managed to refind the beauty!  Yup it's a LOSHie!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Apr 29 MANX SHEARWATER - Ucluelet

This past weekend (April 28-29), 87 birders from around BC and Alberta headed to the outer coast of Vancouver Island to board the MV Frances Barkley on Sunday in hopes of finding some nice seabirds. Not surprisingly, with all those eyes out there, there were plenty of other highlights onshore as well.

First off-- here are some photo highlights, courtesy of Peter Candido:
[Click to Enlarge]
Black-footed Albatross: "Clear for Take-off"
Manx Shearwater (right) with Sooty Shearwater--Note smaller size and white underparts
 Photo showing underside of Manx Shearwater (with same Sooties)
 Flock of Red Phalaropes in different stages of pre-alternate moult
 The ever-pleasant sight of Sabine's Gulls floating by

For a detailed report of the pelagic trip itself, CLICK HERE.

Other highlights from the weekend:

--Huge numbers of migrating geese; particularly Greater White-fronted, but also Cackling, Snow, and Brant. On the afternoon of the 29th, an estimated 30-40 thousand Greater White-fronts passed north over Tofino, with close to 10,000 Cacklers mixed in.

--The long-staying Yellow-billed Loon was again present around the south end of Tofino Harbour on the 28th and 30th.

--Western Sandpiper numbers seemed low, but there were still lots of other shorebirds around including 25 Marbled Godwits near the Sharp Rd Look-out, 100's of Short-billed Dowitchers at Sharp Road and the Airport, 7 Whimbrels at the Tofino Airport on April 30th along with a single Marbled Godwit, loads of Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers, good numbers of Dunlin, Western, Semipalmated, and Least Sandpipers, and over 40 Wilson's Snipe!

--"Rockpipers" were also around, with Black Turnstones and Surfbirds seen at various locations in Pacific Rim National Park, as well as the usual Black Oystercatchers. Another big highlight for many was a good showing of Wandering Tattlers. Multiple tattlers were recorded in Tofino, as well as Green Point area, and around Ucluelet (where they could be heard calling for several hours on the evening of the 28th).

--The Wick Sewage Lagoons yielded a pair of Wood Ducks, 1 drake Cinnamon Teal, 3 Ring-necked Ducks, and a Northern Rough-winged Swallow (among other things)

--Finally, there appears to have been an influx of Sea Otters into the area, as ~10 were sighted off Amphitrite Point on the 28th, and at least 3 were seen from the boat on the 29th!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ever heard of a "red-phase" Western Screech?

Check out this photo of a rare "red/brownish-phase" macfarlanei Western Screech-Owl. The red-phase of the Eastern Screech-Owl is well known, but few (if any) have ever seen the Western (interior) Screech version! Or could this be a hybrid macfarlanei x kennicottii or simply a kennicottii (coastal ssp.) that has made it up into the interior?  This bird was found in the upper Fraser Canyon by Jared Hobbs et al.

[Typical gray-phase on left, with reddish bird on right]
[Photo Credit: Jared Hobbs]

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lesser Goldfinch in Lillooet


[Photo: Ken Wright]

Found at a private residence in Lillooet on April 23rd, and is continuing up until at least the 26th. The landowner has requested that the precise location be kept private.

April 26 UPDATE--There are now *2* males LEGOs at the feeder!


April 27--Last seen on this date

Sunday, April 15, 2012

ARCTIC LOON--Jordan River


On Apil 15th an Arctic Loon was reported from the Surfer's Parking Lot in Jordan River by Louis Haviland. The bird was Alone and close to shore and was photographed several times.

April 21 Update: STILL PRESENT

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ross's Goose returns for 3rd spring in a row!


CRESTON: Gary Breault just photographed this ROSS'S GOOSE at the first 90 degree corner on Channel Rd, near Duck Lake. This is the third spring that a Ross's Goose has turned up at this exact location--must be the same bird? Sightings have ranged from April 14th to May 4th.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Apr 12--SAGE SPARROW in Kelowna

From Avery Bartels:

At Munson Pond
this morning (9:30am) I had a Sage Sparrow. It was foraging on its own, on both sides of the road but was last seen on the north side as it ducked behind the piles of debris and wood chips. A couple hundred metres after turning onto Munson Rd. there is a bare field (mostly bare ground, with little grass) on the left. I first had the bird here before it flew across the road and continued foraging on a dirt track and the aforementioned wood chip piles.

The bird was quite pale brown with a contrastingly grey head, strong white malar stripe, a fairly short and weak white supercilium, an unmarked nape with a streaked back, faint wingbars and and a dark spot on the centre of its chest, underparts white. It often held its long tail cocked up and ran about quite actively.

I managed to digiscope a couple of poor shots with my ipod which I will post when I figure out how to do transfer them off my ipod. [April 12]

--Will post photo soon

Friday, March 30, 2012

Brown Pelican found near Prince Rupert

Press Release---

A brown pelican is being nursed back to health in Prince Rupert after veering almost two-thousand kilometres off course. The large bird with the nearly two metre wingspan was spotted, disoriented and wobbly, on a Port Edward dock earlier this week, far from its usual northerly limits along the Oregon coast. Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Shelter volunteer Amy Maund says people had been tossing fish to the pelican, so it wasn't starving, but an examination has revealed some eye and head injuries. The feisty pelican has perked up, since then, and is now preening and snapping his beak while shelter officials try to figure out why he ventured on his unexpected northerly adventure.

Friday, March 9, 2012

MOTTLED PETRELS in BC Waters

Ryan Merrill (Of "Mission to Haida Gwaii 2011" fame) just returned from a NOAA research cruise, and reports seeing three MOTTLED PETRELS in BC Waters (off Carmanah Pt, BC). This was around March 3rd, 2012. Here are the other highlights---
[Mottled Petrel--Note dark belly and black bars on underwing]

Laysan Albatross (4)
3/3 1 Nitinat Canyon, WA
3/5 1 Guide Canyon, 32nm off Ocean Park, WA
3/6 2 21-23nm off Cape Lookout, OR

Mottled Petrel (9)
2/21 1 4.3nm off Caramanah Point, BC - unusually close to land!
3/3 1 29nm off Caramanah Point, BC
3/3 1 Nitinat Canyon, 40nm off Caramanah Point/Cape Alava - this
bird was seen in both countries
3/3 3 Nitinat Canyon, 39-43nm off Cape Alava, WA
3/5 3 Astoria Canyon, 23-29nm off Cape Disappointment, WA

Sooty Shearwater - 2 off Ocean Shores 3/4

Short-tailed Shearwater - 33 total in BC,WA & OR

Manx Shearwater – 1 15nm off Long Beach on 3/5

Yellow-billed Loon - Scott saw one in Boundary Pass near Saturna Island on 3/2

Red-legged Kittiwake - Nitinat Canyon, 37nm off Cape Alava, WA, adult on 3/3

Apparent Black-tailed Gull - 14nm off Long Beach, WA, adult on 3/6
[Single Parakeet]
Parakeet Auklet (871!)
2/16 6 Tillamook
2/17 10 Clallam
2/20 2 Clallam
2/21 1 BC
2/23 2 Clallam
3/3 21 Clallam
3/4 358! Grays Harbor max of 85 in view at once
3/5 438! Pacific 160+ different sightings
3/6 33 Tillamook
[Group of Parakeets!]
Tufted Puffin (8)
3/3 1 Nitinat Canyon, WA
3/5 7 Willapa Canyon, WA

For more photos, click HERE.

[More reason to sign up for the WildResearch pelagic in April?]

Monday, February 27, 2012

Northern Mockingbird in Squamish

[Photo: Chris Dale]
First found by Patrick MacNamara approx 2 weeks ago-- Its regular hangout is the Holly tree in the back yard of house number 1260 on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Victoria Street. Sometimes it is down a nearby alleyway at some other hollys.

Last seen March 24

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Canadian "Big Day" Record

FEBRUARY 13--Russell Cannings, Jess Findlay, and Jeremiah Kennedy successfully cracked the 130-barrier for the first time in Canadian history--nabbing 131 species in one day, in the Vancouver area. This beat the previous February record of 109, and the best winter record (from Jan): 127

For more details, click HERE.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Feb 7-12+: ICELAND GULL in Penticton


This adult ICELAND GULL (possibly of the nominate glaucoides subspecies?), was found by Laure Neish on the morning of Feb 7.

Comments on subspecies welcome.

This bird was hanging out with the main Penticton Gull flock along Okanagan Beach (near "The Peach" concession stand at the east end of Lakeshore Drive).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

SUMMER TANAGER continues!


[Photo: Ralph Hocken]
This female-type (possible "first-winter" male?) Summer Tanager is still being seen in the Columbia Beach area (Parksville); as of January 26th. It has been present since late November.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jan 30/31--*Two* Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the Okanagan

Jan 30--

Chris Charlesworth and Michael Force report seeing a 2nd-cycle LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at the mouth of Vernon Creek (Okanagan Landing, just SW of Vernon) today. This is apparently a different-looking individual than the bird seen in Oct-Nov. There is also an adult GLAUCOUS GULL present.

Jan 31--

Chris Charlesworth just found this adult at Maude Roxby, Kelowna!

Feb 14 UPDATE: Lately, both LBBGs have been in Penticton

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

BRAMBLING in Victoria!

Photo by Ray Lapshinoff
An apparent HY female Brambling was seen at a feeder at a private residence in Victoria from Dec 31 to Jan 2. The bird was reported today, but could not be relocated despite a thorough effort by 15 or so birders all day today.
Stay tuned for updates as available!