Thursday, December 29, 2016

RBA: RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL in Comox - December 22-Jan 14th

On December 22-2016, while doing the Comox CBC, Shane Tillapaugh found a Female type Red-flanked Bluetail at Lazo Wildlife Park. The bird was first found right beside the parking lot in the beginning of the row of trees on the right side of the parking lot. The ID was not confirmed at the time but several people looked for the bird since then.

On December 29-2016, the ID was confirmed when Guy Monty relocated the bird at 12:40pm. The bird was in the end of the same row of trees in some alders, that back onto agricultural land at Lazo Wildlife Park.

See map for exact location: HERE

Art Martell, Nathan Hentze, Mark Wynja and Dave Baird got on this bird shortly after. The bird was seen clearly but briefly for very short periods of time, with long instances of no one seeing it, between 12:40pm and 2pm. The bird was extremely skulky, stayed low to the ground and disappeared frequently. The bird was calling and it was last seen in the trees where it was originally found on December 22nd, near the parking lot.

See map for exact location: HERE

The bird then flew just before 2pm, into the forested area on the left hand side of the parking lot and was not relocated. The bird was not photographed.

This is the second record for British Columbia and Canada.

On December 30th-2016, the bird was seen in a willow tree that backs onto the agricultural field. The first sighting was at 3:50pm and the second was at 4:45pm. Both views were brief but clear. The bird was not photographed.

Map to the exact location of where the bird was seen on Dec 30th HERE

On December 31st-2016, the bird was seen 100m from the parking lot as it flew from a spruce tree on the forested side (left) of the park. The bird was heard by one observer at 12:40pm, 200m from the parking lot in the same area. At 1:40pm multiple observers got to see the bird in the hedgerow along the agricultural field, about 50 meters closer to the parking lot, from where it was seen on December 30th. It flew into a cedar tree near the parking lot and was briefly visible on the ground under the tree before it disappeared. The bird was heard calling again in the row of spruce trees. The bird was not photographed.

On Jan 1st-2017, multiple observers had good views of the RFBL from 12:20pm until 1:30pm. The bird was perched in the open in the same Willow it was seen in on Dec 30th and 31st. This willow is located down the embankment and backs onto the agricultural field (please see maps above). It called several times and then flew and perched in a salal berry bush by the service building near the parking lot and entrance. The bird was also seen feeding on the ground with Dark-eyed Juncos.

At 10-12pm on Jan 1st-2017, the RFBL showed well to the observers present. It  perched in the open in a cedar tree near the main parking lot and first bench. Good photos were finally obtained!

From 3:30-4pm on Jan 3-4th-2017,  the bird was visible to observers at the base of the alders at the end of the park (on the right hand side of the park, near the agricultural field) which is near the pond.

On January 5-2017, the bird was seen in the willow tree, hedgerow and along the fence on the private property that borders the agricultural field and park between 2:45-2:50pm as it flycatched. The bird allowed for good views and photographs.

On January 7th the bird was seen from 3:10-3:25pm, flycatching along the fence of the green private home that borders the agricultural field and park.

Map to location HERE

The bird continues in Lazo Wildlife Park as of January 8th. It was last seen at 11:50 am for 15 mins, as it flycatched under cedars to the right of the main path near the entrance of the park. It then flew to the fenced hedgerow that is down the embankment and then out of sight.

The bird continues in Lazo Wildlife Park as of January 10th.

The bird was seen at 3:20pm for ten minutes by multiple observers on January 11th. The bird was seen on January 12th.

The bird was last seen in Lazo Park on January 14th. 

Despite multiple observers searching, the bird has not been seen since January 14th.

A video of the bird can be viewed HERE

Directions: Drive all the way down Sand Pines Drive (not crescent) accessed off Lazo Rd and park at the parking lot where the road dead ends.

The address of Lazo Wildlife Park is 968 Sand Pines Drive, Comox, BC

Red-flanked Bluetail in Comox - Photos: George Bowron

1 comment:

  1. Have walked my dogs hundreds of times in that area......... it is the "secluded" side of a regional park and also partially bordered by undisturbed farmland The birdspotting opportunities are incredible. Like Lazo Marsh, nearby, the birds seem somewhat habituated........ possibly because most of the hikers come equipped with bird treats. This was also the first place I ever saw Sandhill Cranes up close.