Friday, May 31, 2013

White-faced Ibis on Mandarte Island

On May 31, Ryan Germain saw and photographed a White-faced Ibis on Mandarte Island, off of Sidney.  See the Vancouver Island page for more details, and updates if the bird is relocated.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Black-throated Sparrow at Osoyoos (May 30)

Photo: Dick Cannings
I discovered a singing Black-throated Sparrow  on the west bench of Osoyoos this morning (30 May 2013) at 7 a.m.; it was still present as of 9:45 a.m.  To reach the site, drive south on Hwy. 97 from the Hwy. 3 intersection on the west side of Osoyoos, then turn right (west) following signs for the Osoyoos golf course.  As you reach the golf course, watch for Fairwinds Drive on your left.  Turn on to Fairwinds and drive up the hill until it ends and turns into a gravel road and you cross a cattle-guard.  There are a myriad of rough gravel roads from here on, but one way to reach the site is to take the road on the left side and follow it over the hill until you see a a flat grassy clearinh with a couple of pieces of wood and a plastic pop bottle on the right. Vehicles with low clearance should probably park here. Continue up the hill on the main track past those two pieces of wood. You'll eventually come to an open meadow with several Russian Olives, and some couches, chairs and an obvious firepit--where someone has had a bush party.  The bird was on the large rocky hill directly to the west (the one behind the central Russian olive tree as you approach the grassy flat for the first time). I've placed some pink flagging-tape at the base of the hill. Continue to the south slope of the hill (instead of going right, past the couches). The bird was moving around a little but in general stayed on the south side of that rocky hill, singing sporadically.  GPS coordinates approximately 317917E 5430686N.

**PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING PLAYBACK.** If the bird is still present, it should be findable with patience, as it was exhibiting all the characters of a territorial bird. After several years of sightings at this location, it is possible that they may one day be confirmed as breeders. Birders should do their best to avoid harassing it/them. Obviously morning is best! Tip: In addition to learning this sparrow's song, familiarize yourself with the songs/calls of Vesper, Brewer's, and Lark Sparrow, as well as Lazuli Bunting and Rock Wren, as all are present and common in this area, and can sound similar.

Good luck!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Revelstoke Lark Bunting

Well this hurts me as much (or more) as it does most of you. While I was turning up a few nice birds south of Revelstoke, my good friend Jennifer Greenwood caught this beauty up by the Revelstoke Dam! (May 26). This was an incidental catch, as the intended target(s) were Savannah Sparrows (Which Jen is studying for her PhD). Could it be the same bird seen by Jeremy G further south a week ago, or are there several in the Columbias this spring?

Photo Credit: Becca Ferguson

Sunday, May 26, 2013

White-headed Woodpecker near Osoyoos

From Doug Brown:

"I just got a report of a White-headed Woodpecker that was seen yesterday on Deerfoot Road on Anarchist Mountain east of Osoyoos. Caroline, who runs the Villa Blanca Bed and Breakfast there, is a very competent observer familiar with all the local species so I have no doubt the sighting is genuine. The bird was last seen flying east towards Long Joe Road, an area where the species has been seen in the past."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ash-throated Flycatcher, Agassiz

Kevin Jones saw and photographed an Ash-throated Flycatcher in Agassiz around 5:00pm on May 23rd. It was seen on Whorely Rd. This is the third sighting for Kevin at this location in the last few years so it makes one wonder if this is the same individual?


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

RBA: Male Lark Bunting in Edgewood, BC

This male Lark Bunting was found and photographed by Jeremy Gatten on May 21.  It was possibly associating with nearby Bobolinks along Ferret S Rd just north of Edgewood (Arrow Lakes area south of Nakusp).
Click HERE for a map of the area.
***May 26---Male LARK BUNTING caught in a mist-net in Revelstoke!***
Could this be the same bird? On the morning of the 26th, some sparrow biologist accidentally caught a male Lark Bunting while studying Savannah Sparrows near the Revelstoke Dam!

Friday, May 10, 2013

WHITE-FACED IBIS near Cranbrook!

May 10--Dean Nicholson reports finding a White-faced Ibis at Wasa Lake while leading a field trip for the WINGS OVER THE ROCKIES festival. Wasa Lake is located between Cranbrook and Invermere (signed off the highway).

[Photo credit: Brent Wellander]

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Help Support the Spoon-billed Sandpiper!

Do you ever feel frustrated that you weren't birding in Vancouver in 1978, thus blowing your chance to see...


Well here's an opportunity to make a difference!

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper project Birds Korea is doing with Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology is the making of a science-driven mini-documentary on the Spoon-billed Sandpiper aimed at a national audience.  Filming is set to begin this year and is to be concluded in May 2014.  The documentary will focus on the birds and key sites in the Republic of Korea, such as the Geum Estuary, Saemangeum reclamation area, Gomso Bay and the Nakdong Estuary in Busan, as well as leading figures in society. This project is happening at the same time as the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force works on its captive breeding project in Eastern Russia and other smaller projects at South Korean schools aim to raise public awareness of the plight of this enigmatic shorebird and about what actions are needed to save this species from extinction.

So in summary: Enhanced Public Awareness->Habitat Conservation-->More Spoonies-->Possibly leading to one popping up on our fair shores one day!

How can you help?

On May 7th, Geoff Styles and Russell Cannings will be conducting a high-paced 24-hour birdathon near their homes in the Okanagan/Shuswap. They will be collecting pledges with all proceeds going to this important Spoon-billed Sandpiper project. You can pledge a flat rate, or make it interesting and pledge "per species." Although it's still early in the spring we plan to get over 100 species!

To make a pledge or inquire more about the project, contact Geoff 

OR, you can challenge us and try your own birdathon in the coast and/or interior!