Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ROSS'S GULL just over the border!

[Photo: Ryan Shaw]

For anyone close to the Okanagan, you may want to grab your passports and head to Palmer Lake, Okanogan County, Washington! This bird has been present since the 15th.

Details from the Washington bird group:
"For those wishing to catch a glimpse of the gull, Palmer Lake is about 15 miles northwest of Tonasket, six miles south of the Canada border. Heinlen says there are two developed areas for public parking along the lake-the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Split Rock day-use site at the south end of the lake and a Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR)campground on the eastern shore. There are restroom facilities at each of these areas."

See video HERE.

For anyone planning on trying, please respect private property and do not block any driveways etc. Thus far, the bird has been frequenting a deer carcass left along the lakeshore near the south end.

Update: It has not been seen since the morning of the 27th

Sunday, December 18, 2011


(Dec 18)--Russell Cannings, Jack Somers, Evalyn Wood, Michelle Hamilton, and Grant Halm observed a hatch-year female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER along the Okanagan River opposite the Penticton Golf & Country Club. It was foraging alone in the thick riparian area known as "Ecommunity Place" (No public access but the bird was viewed from the jogging/biking path adjacent to the woodland).

Directions for those trying for it:

Park along Riverside Drive just north of Hwy 97. Cross over the river on the hwy bridge, then walk south along the west dyke of the river. After passing the driving range--look along the riparian thickets on the west side. Listen for the junco-like call-note. In addition to the thick brush on the west side, the warbler has also been seen gleaning insects off the rocks along the side of the Okanagan River.

Dec 25--Still present in the same area [near the power pole with caution tape] (Doug Brown)

For more awesome shots of the bird from Laure, click HERE.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Here is a picture of the 4th (presumed) Hoary Redpoll to turn up in the southern interior this winter. [Photo credit: Gail Spitler, Johnson's Landing] Be sure to check through your local redpoll and siskin flocks this winter! ID can be tricky, as there is a lot of plumage overlap between Common and Hoary. It is best to use a combination of fieldmarks to reach a decision.

Click HERE for a helpful character index for redpoll identification.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dec 4-10: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Victoria

Report from Steven Roias:

"I spotted the Gnatcatcher at 09:30 on Saturday (Dec 04) at the Cook street entrance to Beacon Hill park. It was foraging erratically at the tree tops usually alone, but was accompanied by a loose flock of Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets. After half an hour or so, the Gnatcatcher and Kinglets moved on towards James Bay. I never did check for the bird again."

Dec 10 UPDATE: Still present in the AM-- in the same area (in between the tennis courts and the maintenance yard). Later on at 1030, it was near the totem pole, then around 1130 it was in the SE corner of the park.
--You can also track some of the previous sighting locations HERE.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dec 2-7: CATTLE EGRET in Surrey

Dec 2-7: Michael Klotz found a CATTLE EGRET along 152 St, just north of the bridge over the Serpentine River. It is mostly foraging in the blueberry field on the east side of 152 St, about 50m north of the bridge.

Still present as of 1pm Dec 7th in the same general area.

Be wary of road construction crews that may be working in the area. There will probably be no where safe to park (close) once the work week starts.

UPDATE: The bird has been taken into the care of a rehab facility--the bird's health had deteriorated to the point that it could not fly.

Cattle Egret
(Photo: Michael Klotz)