Monday, December 29, 2014

Dec. 28--BOREAL OWL on Race Rocks for Sooke CBC!

The Sooke CBC took place on December 28th and at the end of the day one bird's name was creating quite the buzz.  Race Rocks ecoguardian Alex Fletcher picked up Val George and Garry Fletcher and brought them over to Race Rocks.  Nobody expected this little boat ride would turn up the first record of Boreal Owl for the Victoria checklist area!

Incredible shot of southern Vancouver Island area's first Boreal Owl (Photo: Val George)

Race Rocks is not accessible to the public as it is an ecological reserve.  For more information on this sighting, head on over to the Race Rocks Log to read an account, including more photos, from Garry Fletcher:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dec 25--Ancient Murrelet lands in Clearwater

While not a provincial rarity, it's always notable when a murrelet turns up inland and even more so when it is captured alive! This poor fellow was found by Allen Selbee in his backyard in Clearwater. He believes it struck his window before pushing its way penguin-style through some snow before he trapped it and brought it inside. Apparently it was taking some food but no word as to how it's currently doing. Obviously it must have been pretty weak and cold to end up in that position. Will update again soon. Special thanks to Dennis Leonard for getting this report out.

Update: Unfortunately this bird has passed away despite having eaten well upon capture.

Autopsy Report courtesy of Ildiko at the UBC vert museum:

"Cause of death was extreme starvation which can be from malnutrition or extended migration.
The breast muscles had atrophied but more importantly the liver and other internal organs had shrunk to about 1/3 normal size.  In such cases the heart remains the same size or grows slightly."

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dec 18--SNOWY PLOVER--Pacific Rim National Park

On December 18th, Robin Kite observed a colour-banded Snowy Plover on Wickanninish Beach (south end of Long Beach, near the Pacific Rim National Park visitor's centre). Frances Bidstrup of Point Reyes Bird Observatory confirms that this bird was banded as a fledgling near Centerville Beach, California this summer (2014). This is the 19th record for BC.

The bird was not seen since Dec 18th.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dec 18-22--Northern Mockingbird in Lillooet

Jeff O'Kelly found this Northern Mockingbird at a private residence in Lillooet and Ian Routley snapped this great record shot on Dec 22. It's been a somewhat slow winter season for rarities in BC so it's nice to see this report from the upper Fraser.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dec 9- Jan 9: 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 20--Rick reports seeing it at the end of Schneider Rd foraging with Glaucous-winged Gulls.
Jan 9-- Gord Gadsen reports seeing the bird on Annis Rd in Chilliwack.

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!

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.

It was not seen on Nov 27th.

Nov 8--Acorn Woodpecker in Powell River

Seen at a private residence in Powell River (Pierre Geoffray) in the morning of Nov 8, 2014.

This is the 8th record for BC (and Canada). *Not seen since Nov 8th.

Photo: Pierre Geoffray

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nov 5-Dec 9--Lesser Black-backed Gull in Abbotsford

Rick Toochin found this adult Lesser Black-backed Gull along Whatcom Rd in Sumas Prairie (Abbotsford area) about 100m south of Hwy 1. It was present all afternoon of Nov 5th with around 50 other gulls. The mantle-colouration is presumably paled a bit as a result of the lighting but one can tell from this photo that it is distinctly darker than nearby Glaucous-wings and the characteristic large red gonys is noticeable in this photo. Despite annual occurrences in the interior this is a very rare gull on the BC coast.
Nov 23: Seen in field with other gulls along Angus-Campbell Rd. (Rick Toochin & Ed Klassen)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Nov 4-6--WHITE WAGTAIL in Delta

On Tuesday, Nov 4, Mark Wynja found this White Wagtail in the corn-stubble field southeast of the intersection of 34th Street and 33A Ave in Delta, BC. This is near Brunswick Point. It was associating with pipits. There was a report of a Red-throated Pipit seen briefly on Nov 5 so if you are there looking at the Wagtail, feel free to keep an eye out for other vagrants.

Nov 8 UPDATE--No confirmed observations on Nov 7th or 8th

Photo: Peter Candido
Photo: Peter Candido

Monday, November 3, 2014

Oct 30-Nov3: *Another Blackburnian Warbler--this time in Revelstoke

There are a lot of birding chat groups around BC and I'm usually pretty good at monitoring them fairly regularly. I admit this one slipped by me for a couple days!

Originally reported as an unknown warbler on October 30th, this apparent hatch-year female Blackburnian Warbler has been frequenting the "Southside" neighbourhood of Revelstoke since then. It was seen again today (Nov 3) and apparently it's been hanging with chickadees. This is near the corner of Edward St and 4th St. Look for the feeders just up Edwards ~70m (NE) and that is roughly where it has been seen off and on. It's been mainly gleaning in the cottonwoods.

This is Revelstoke's 26th warbler species all-time! Pretty darn good for a small western mountain town.

Please report YES or NO sightings!

Photos and report from Darlene Cancelliere

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Nov 1-3--Blackburnian Warbler in Victoria

Today Ian Cruickshank found a Blackburnian Warbler in Beacon Hill Park (in the vicinity of Goodacre Lake and the bandshell--foraging in vine maples and oaks with kinglets). It was seen throughout Saturday..

Here are some tips from Steven Roais for finding it:

1.) Deciduous trees (maples in particular)

2.) other bird activity (especially golden-crowned kinglets)

3.) persistent chip call (once heard, easy to locate)

4.) look high up into the canopy (bird was as close as 10 feet from the ground but mostly in the 20 foot range)

The bird was not seen as of Nov 4th.

[Photos below from Geoffrey Newell]

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oct 26--Brown Thrasher near Chetwynd

Glenda and Evan Pye found this Brown Thrasher in their yard today (just east of Chetwynd) and apparently a Gray Catbird has been around too! Hopefully both birds smarten up and head south soon. As you can see, it's not exactly Mexico up there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oct 12--White-headed Woodpecker seen near Merritt

Thanks to David Schutz for passing on a report from Al Serfas of a White-headed Woodpecker (seen by Al) on Thanksgiving weekend along the Coldwater Rd SW of Merritt. When questioned, the ID sounds reliable so this may very well be worth checking out for birders in the Nicola Valley, or anyone desperate for a White-topped Pine-picker in Canada!

Below are the sight details from Al:

(Along Coldwater Rd--Roughly 20km south of Merritt): There are a bunch of large bales wrapped in green plastic on the north side of the road and a rail fenced corral on the south. There are gas pipeline markers there as the pipeline crosses the road. The pine trees are on the north side just east of all the green bales, and the bird was seen well moving through these pines. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oct 13-14--Red-throated Pipit near Victoria

From Dave Fraser:

"At about noon four pipits flushed off the newly plowed field on Puckle Rd (Martindale Flats, Saanich Peninsula). Settled briefly back down and then flew towards the plowed fields on Lamont Rd. One was a bright adult Red-throated Pipit (face, throat and chest chestnut red, heavily streaks on sides) the other three I assumed were American Pipits although to be honest I hardly looked at them. I have been unable to find them from Lamont Rd for the last 15 minutes or so."

Click HERE for Dave Fraser's checklist complete with field sketches.

Seen again nearby on the 14th by Kirsten Mills. It has not been reported since.

Watch here for updates.

Oct 12--Black-throated Blue Warbler banded near Victoria

An apparent hatch-year female Black-throated Blue Warbler was banded at the Pedder Bay site of Rocky Point Bird Observatory (west of Victoria) on October 12.  Subsequent efforts to relocate this bird were unsuccessful.  Many cameras were luckily on hand for this bird and Emma and Rebecca Reader-Lee have supplied a couple nice shots of it.

Photo: Emma Reader-Lee
Photo: Rebecca Reader-Lee

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Oct 10-28--Lesser Black-backed Gull in Penticton

This 3rd-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull was discovered near the S.S. Sicamous in the SW corner of Okanagan Lake (Penticton) by Dick Cannings on Oct 10. It was soon after photographed (above) by Laure Neish, and since then it has been seen off and on along the Okanagan beachfront in Penticton (Lakeshore Drive). It seems to be absent for most of the day with daily sightings ranging from early morning to late afternoon. Once a reliable visitors to several locations in the Okanagan each winter, this species has been more irregular over the past few years.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Oct 10--Dickcissel in Francois Lake

Keith Walker photographed this Dickcissel in his yard on Oct 10. Nice find for Francois Lake--near Burns Lake in West-Central BC.

This is the 24th record for BC.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sept 30--Red-throated Pipit and Brambling in Haida Gwaii

Not satisfied with Yellow Wagtail the day before, James Bradley joined up with resident birders Peter Hamel and Margo Hearne, finding a Brambling (pictured below), 
Red-throated Pipit, and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper around Sandspit, Haida Gwaii

Photo: James Bradley

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sep 29--YELLOW WAGTAIL in Queen Charlotte City

Not satisfied with simply finding a Little Stint near Victoria this fall, James Bradley just called in with this doozie for BC. Seen late this morning in Queen Charlotte City on Graham Island, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). The bird was found within the Skidegate Inlet Important Bird Area which supports globally important populations of Black Oystercatcher and Pigeon Guillemot. Exact location here.

Presumed to be the "Eastern" Yellow Wagtail. Contrary opinions on ID welcome.
Apparently it was quite wary and did not allow for an approach closer than 30m.
(Photos: James Bradley)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sep 25-29--Brambling in Victoria

Around 11 a.m., a female BRAMBLING was found feeding with juncos on Mount Tolmie (Location Map) in Victoria, BC (fide Keith Taylor).  It was still present around 1:30 p.m.

 Female Brambling on Mount Tolmie on September 25 (Photo: Keith Taylor)

*SEP 29--From Ted Ardley--"It was with a group of juncos up on that top rock on the right ridge then went to a lower flat ridge and was able to look down on it was able to watch it pop in and out for a good 10-15 minutes in the pouring rain.It flew by itself way down to the bottom of the hill to the north east towards the houses that line the the trees.So wondering if it's alternating between a feeder down there and this right hand ridge."

Watch for updates here as they come in.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sep 21--WHITE WAGTAIL in Salmon Arm!

 On the morning of the 21st (Sunday), Don Cecile photographed this apparent hatch-year WHITE WAGTAIL on the mudflats of Salmon Arm Bay in the southern interior of BC. It was foraging with close to 100 American Pipits. The flock flushed several times but Don was able to re-find it 3 times. Unfortunately it disappeared along with most of the pipits by 10am and was not located later in the day.

More specifically this was in the SW corner of Salmon Arm Bay near the mouth of the Salmon River. This requires parking at Peter Jannink Park then trudging out across wet mud for several hundred meters. The bird is presumed to have continued south but if you can find some big pipit flocks you may get lucky. Morning is by far the best time for peak numbers.

There are 9 other records of White/Black-backed Wagtail for BC, but this is the first occurrence of one in the interior.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sep 20--Brown Booby + Laysan Albatross near Tofino

On September 20th, John Forde and the Tofino Whale Center took 10 birders offshore to the continental shelf and things went pretty well! Fog was an issue early on but overall it was a great trip including two gems for BC birders: Brown Booby and Laysan Albatross (pictured below). For the full list of offshore birds seen that day, check out John Reynolds' eBird checklist.

Sep 20--White-winged Dove near Victoria

Cathy Carlson photographed a WHITE-WINGED DOVE in her yard today, feeding with Band-tailed Pigeons and Eurasian Collared-Doves.

White-winged Dove attending feeder in Shirley, BC (Photo: Cathy Carlson)

If the bird continues more information will be provided for those seeking to visit the area. This was in Shirley, BC (just west of Sooke on Vancouver Island).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sep 15-21--HUDSONIAN GODWIT--George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Photo: Douglas Brown
Kim Eckert and a group of other birders reported Hudsonian Godwit along with an Pacific Golden Plover and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper in the West Field in the afternoon.

Sept 21-23-- Either the same one or a second bird showed up at Reifel again both days in the afternoon. 

BROWN BOOBY -- Fraser River Mouth

On Sept 14th a Brown Booby perched on the top of a fishing boat on the mouth of the South Arm of the Fraser River just north of Sand Heads. This bird was found by Tom Forge.

Photo: Tom Forge

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sep 13-15: Ruff at Iona

A juvenile RUFF (presumed to be a different bird from the one encountered at Reifel earlier in the year) was found at the Iona Sewage ponds (Richmond) on Sep 13 and was still being seen on Monday the 15th. Some photos HERE.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sep 13-Oct 26: Ash-throated Flycatcher in Delta

There was an Ash-throated Flycatcher at Boundary Bay today (Sept 13). Nick Balachanoff found this bird today "in the trees between the parking lot and the dike at the Heritage Airport off 104th Street Delta, BC."

Oct 26--Continuing to be seen by birders in the same area (200m W of 104th along the dyke). It is spending a lot of time in the crab-apple trees along the dyke beside the buildings. 

Darner vs Ash-throated Flycatcher (Photo: John Gordon)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Late Report: Loggerhead Shrike in East Kootenays

Carlene Irmen photographed this Loggerhead Shrike in Wycliffe, BC (near Cranbrook) on August 23rd. Sometimes summer shrikes are identified as Northerns based on an assumption that Loggerhead is rare and Northern is regular. While it is true that only 1-3 Loggerheads are detected in BC each year and Northerns are common in the winter months, it should be noted that Loggerhead is much more likely to occur in Southern BC from May through September when Northerns are in the Yukon and other reaches of the far north. Loggerheads regularly breed within 200km of the Canada-US border so it's not surprising that a few show up each year. And even though Northerns are often present throughout BC from fall until early spring, it is still worth it to keep an eye out for Loggerheads as they can occur at that time as well!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Martin Dollenkamp photographed this Mexican Violetear on September 4th at a private residence in Port Alberni, BC (Vancouver Island). Mexican Violetears have been known to wander throughout eastern North America and there is a record from Alberta and Ontario. A similar species from South America--Sparkling Violetear--(which is non-migratory) is presumed to be regularly kept in captivity and would likely be an escapee. To see comments and links in the comments section below for a few reasons by experts as to why this is  Mexican Violetear.

This is the first record for BC.

No sightings to report for Sep 5+6. If there are any updates to this story I will post them here. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sep 3-9 -- LITTLE STINT in Sidney

From 8.30 - 9.15am on the 3rd Sept, James Bradley had good views (with photographs) of a fairly fresh juvenile Little Stint at Tseum Harbour in Sidney, seen from Resthaven Park. The photos show all the key features including rich (though fading) rufous edges to coverts and tertials, strong white back braces, a split supercilium and strong contrast overall between clean white underside and warm coloured upperside. In structure, smaller and more delicate than Westerns with short and squat body, concave rear-dorsal profile, and small head. Bill fine, straight and medium length. In total, approximately 60 small peeps, nearly all Western Sandpiper, were present in the flock.

UPDATE - last confirmed at 8.30am on Sept 9th

**best to time your visit for a tide height of less than 2.4m if you can (see tide charts here) although the shorebird flock may use a dock floating in the bay as a high tide roost. Otherwise, they usually forage at the south end of the bay by the wharf on the lowest tides (~ 0.6m), close to the bank on the west flats on a rising tide (~1.4m), and on the north flats opposite the wall after that until the tide is too high (~2.4m+). Updates are appreciated.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Aug 30--Lark Bunting at Port Hardy Airport

On a rainy afternoon at the Port Hardy (North end of Vancouver Island), Russell Cannings found a female Lark Bunting foraging with White-crowned and Savannah Sparrows just NW of the Port Hardy Airport terminal. Unfortunately a photograph was not obtained. There is a large area of thimbleberry and other scrub criss-crossed with quad tracks and this is where the bird was. It flushed several times, flying over 100m away so predicting exactly where it will pop up again may be tricky. At any rate it looks like a very good spot for wayward migrants in general so any birder in the area might want to drop by for a look.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Aug 28-Sep 2--REEVE at Reifel Refuge (Ladner, BC)

Around 1030am this morning (Thurs, Aug 28), Liron Gertsman, Josh Brown, Logan Lalonde, Tak Shibata, and Tom (Plath?--Need to confirm) observed a juvenile REEVE (female Ruff--based on size) in the "West Field" (the flooded area in front of the tall blue viewing tower) at Reifel Refuge near Ladner (SW of Vancouver). It was foraging with Stilt Sandpipers but then flew out of sight. Unfortunately it has not been relocated yet.

Aug 29 (Friday) UPDATE: Present again from 9am to just after 11am (I. Povalyaev). It appears this bird is only present during high tide then heads to the foreshore. Best to time your visits accordingly.

Sept 2 UPDATE: Still present in the afternoon
Photo: Lion Gertsman

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Aug 14--WHITE-WINGED DOVE near Tofino

This White-winged Dove was photographed on August 14th by Tom Johnson at the Kwisitis Visitor's Centre (also known as Wickaninnish Info Centre) in Pacific Rim National Park. This is near the south end of Long Beach in between Tofino and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Watch here for updates. Thank you to Dave Ingram for passing this along.

Aug 14--YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO near Oliver

Mel Thorn just called to report a Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Hack's Pond NW of Oliver. This is the wetland along Horsetail Rd which is a gravel track connecting the north end of River Road with Secret Road. Apparently it was first seen in the cottonwood riparian area then flew up the bank and went out of sight.

Check back here for updates and more details.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Blackburnian Warbler in Chilliwack

Gord Gadsden saw a Blackburnian Warbler at Island 22 (Chilliwack) yesterday. You can read more on the sighting Here. So far it hasn't been relocated today but stay tuned for more updates.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hawaiian Petrel off BC

On 8 July, Paul Lehman and group were aboard another Princess cruise-ship "pelagic" from San Francisco to se. Alaska and had a HAWAIIAN PETREL in BC waters far southwest of Vancouver Island, at 47.105, 129.147, which is about 320 km SW of Estevan Point, or 340 km SW of Tofino, but actually due west of Washington state (but no closer there than 350 km's....). Otherwise this pass through these deep, far offshore waters was fairly slow, with mostly just about 300 Leach's Storm-Petrels, a few Fork-taileds and several Black-footed Albatrosses and Sooty Shearwaters to look at.

--Paul Lehman (San Diego)
Posted by Barbara Carlson

Jul 13--Indigo Bunting in Cawston

While returning home to Nelson from the coast, Janice Arndt found a singing male INDIGO BUNTING near the highway pull-off with the Eagle Valley interpretive sign, 4km south (toward Osoyoos) from the lone traffic light in Cawston. This is just outside of Keremeos if you were driving Hwy 3 to Osoyoos.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3-7--BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO near Kelowna

Around 10:15 on July 3, Michael Force and Doug Kragh heard a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO in a densely-vegetated ravine near a bend to the left at KM 4.5 on the Beaver Lake Rd (east of Winfield in Lake Country, BC). Be sure to use the yellow KM markers on the road when zeroing your odometer. This is just north of Kelowna where Beaver Lake Rd is signed off Hwy 97 in Winfield.
Photo: Michael Force
Morning (545am-830am) and evening (630pm-830pm) seems to be best.

**LAST SEEN MONDAY, JULY 7 (early morning). The bird ranges from close to the road to several hundred meters south down the brushy ravine.

---The bird was not detected on several attempts Tuesday and Wednesday---PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU TRY FOR IT--even if you didn't see it!

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 29 - McCown's Longspur on Becher's Prairie, Chilcotin

Found in the area where Sprague's Pipit have nested previously, a male McCown's Longspur has been seen well and photographed by Phil Ranson and Sandy Proulx on private land on Becher's Prairie, west of Williams Lake. This is a species which historically may have bred in the lower mainland but it's occurrence in BC is represented by fewer than half a dozen records. If the bird is found again and is more accessible, details will be posted here.

McCown's Longspur at Becher's Prairie, Chilcotin, 29 June 2014 (photo: Sandy Proulx)

Friday, June 20, 2014

June 18--Ferruginous Hawk near Kamloops

On June 18, a group of birders taking part in an extension fieldtrip from the BCFO conference in Pemberton, spotted a Ferruginous Hawk on a private ranch in Knutsford, BC (SE of Kamloops). If the bird is seen again, look for updates here. (Fide Rick Howie et al.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Western Scrub-Jays nesting in Maple Ridge, BC

John Gordon recently captured this image of an adult Western Scrub-Jay feeding recently fledged young along 119th Ave in Maple Ridge. There has been a 1-2 adults in this area for around 5 years but this is perhaps the first confirmed successful nesting-attempt in British Columbia/Canada (apparently this pair's nest failed last year). There are 2 fledglings according to John Gordon. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 14-15: Ash-throated Flycatcher in Jordan River

Victoria's weekly Saturday birding group turned up a great bird on June 14--Ash-throated Flycatcher! It was in the alders along Jordan River in the village of Jordan River--this is west of Sooke on Vancouver Island. It was still in the area on Sunday, June 15.
Photo--Aziza Cooper

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Last year around this time a Brown Thrasher was found at the Hakai Beach Institute on Calvert Island (BC Mid-Coast--in between Bella Bella and Port Hardy), and now Brian Starzomski reports that a Northern Mockingbird was present at the exact same compost heap (June 14), and a Gray Catbird was also around for several days before that in the same area (photos shown). Northern Mockingbirds are rare but annual in BC, while Gray Catbird is common within its interior breeding range however it is very rare on the outer coast!

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 12--Chestnut-sided Warbler in Gibsons

John Hodges found this Chestnut-sided Warbler at Gospel Rock near Gibsons, BC. This is the 3rd record for the Sunshine Coast. This bird was singing regularly--similar to most of the early summer records for SW BC--males that overshoot then set up territory so this bird might stick around! (Photo: Marcia Mason)
This is the 59th record for the province of BC.

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 2-3: SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER near Cape Scott, Vancouver Island

From Tom Maxie:

"I spotted a Scissor-Tailed flycatcher at Lowrie Bay near Sea Otter Cove on the west coast of Vancouver Island near San Joseph Bay June 2nd and again on the 3rd at the following coordinates 50 degrees 41.60' N X 128 degrees 22.09' W. The bird, apparently on its own, was quite contentedly perched and hunting both days I was there and I am confident it is likely still there."

*This area is accessible by logging roads in NW Vancouver Island--a backroads map and pre-trip research would be strongly advised.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 3-6--SNOWY EGRET in Kelowna

Matthias Deter found this SNOWY EGRET at Robert Lake around 740pm on June 3rd. Apparently it came in from the east, moved around the lake a bit, then was last seen flying north toward Alki Lake/Glenmore Landfill.

Harvey Chapple managed this image (cropped obviously) before it flew north.

*June 6 UPDATE: Still present as of 9am June 6 (Stu Weir)---Robert Lake