Sunday, July 14, 2019

RBA: COMMON RINGED PLOVER in Tsawwassen - July 14-16th

At 7:30pm on July 14-2019, Ilya Povalyaev, Melissa Hafting, Mike Toochin, Sharon Toochin and Richard Swanston found a SY male Common Ringed Plover in breeding plumage at Beach Grove lagoon at Boundary Bay Regional Park.

The bird flew in on the mudflats at high tide and joined a small flock of Western Sandpipers. The bird was present for 30 minutes at a distance of 20m. The bird was photographed and then flew off and was not relocated before dark.

Multiple observers saw and photographed the bird on July 15th.

Map to exact location of bird HERE

Map to parking lot HERE

This is the second record for the province of BC.

***The bird was last seen in the same location on July 16th at 10:15 am. It was not seen on the evening of the 16th despite multiple observers looking.***

The bird was NOT seen on July 17th, despite multiple observers looking.

Common Ringed Plover in Delta - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Common Ringed Plover in Delta  - Photo: Peter Candido

Defined white wing stripe in flight unlike SEPL - Photo: John Gordon

Diagnostic lack of webbing between toes unlike in SEPL - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

RBA: BLACK PHOEBE in Coquitlam - July 9-10th

At 11:40am on July 9-2019, Hank Tseng found and photographed an immature Black Phoebe at Colony Farm. The bird was west of the duck pond by the intersection of the Wilson Farm Dyke Trail and Pumphouse trail.

Map to location HERE

This is the 26th record for the province of BC.

The bird was last seen in the same location on July 10th and was viewed by multiple observers.

The bird was not relocated on July 11th, despite multiple observers looking.

Black Phoebe in Coquitlam - Photos: Hank Tseng

Friday, July 5, 2019

Two new breeding species for BC!

Two new species have been added to the list of breeding birds in BC this year!

Finally a long overdue and suspected species was confirmed - The Lesser Goldfinch!

On July 5-2019, David Bell (the original finder of the species at this location), photographed an adult female Lesser Goldfinch feeding a barely fledged fledgling. The young bird still couldn’t fly. No nest has ever been found but this is enough to confirm breeding. The birds were 100m uphill from the Kruger Mountain/Old Richter Pass Rd intersection in Osoyoos.

This is also the first breeding record for all of Canada.

You can see the photos below:

Lesser Goldfinch fledgling with adult female - Photos: David Bell

You can read more about these Lesser Goldfinches HERE

Since breeding is now confirmed I will no longer be featuring them on the main page of the bird alert as a provincial rarity.

The other new BC breeding species this year was Whimbrel. On June 20-2019, Syd Cannings, Jean-François Jetté and Logan McLeod discovered and photographed a nest with 4 eggs at the Haines Summit, near the Yukon border. They were found in Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park while looking for Hudsonian Godwits during a bird survey.

You can see the photos below:

Whimbrel nest with 4 eggs in Haines Summit, BC - Photo: Jean-François Jetté 

Whimbrel in Haines Summit, BC - Photo: Syd Cannings

Here is a write up that Syd generously wrote up on their discovery:

Whimbrel nesting in the Haines Triangle—a new breeding species to British Columbia

Syd Cannings, Jean-François Jetté, and Logan McLeod
Canadian Wildlife Service, Whitehorse

“On 20 June 2019, we were doing bird surveys along the British Columbia portion of the Haines Highway in the far northwestern corner of the province. Despite being a bit weary after our early morning work, we were all eager to stroll through the big fens west of the highway (in Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park) to search for Hudsonian Godwits. These magnificent shorebirds have been occasionally recorded as breeding in the region as far back as the 1960s, but we wanted to update that information since the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) had recently assessed the species as Threatened.
Off we went through the thick willows and birch scrub, killing mosquitoes as we went. Except for the mountains and the nearby forests, the landscape was reminiscent of the wetlands we had surveyed for godwits on the northwestern corner of the Mackenzie Delta in 2018. There, Whimbrels swirled noisily overhead as the lone Hudsonian Godwit sat quietly below. So as we battled our way through the bushes, I (Syd) said “Wouldn’t it be really cool if we found Whimbrels here?” To my shock, as we entered the large fen and spread out on our godwit search, loud curlew-like calls rang out and J.-F. shouted, “Whimbrels!” A pair of the birds, obviously upset with us, were soon joined by another pair to the south. J.-F. walked around a small copse of White Spruce and came across a nest with four eggs! We didn’twant to disturb them further so kept going through the fen complex to the south, obviously passing through the territory of the second pair. We saw no godwits, although we recalled the advice of a shorebird expert who that they prefer to nest amongWhimbrels and Mew Gulls. The gulls were present here, too, although not in large numbers.
There is one summer record for the region: a single bird was seen at Mosquito Flats on 17 June 1980 (see account in Birds of British Columbia, vol. 3); but this is the first documented breeding record for the province. 
The Haines Highway corridor is well known to biologists as a place where arctic and subarctic species have small, disjunct populations. Birds such as Smith’s Longspur and Hudsonian Godwit immediately come to mind, but there are also mammals such as the Tundra Shrew in the region. A special place indeed!The valley of the headwaters of the Tatshenshini River, and the Mosquito Flats area contain extensive peatlands that appear to be great habitat for Whimbrels and Hudsonian Godwits, so there are plenty of opportunities for more discoveries.”

- Syd Cannings

This is definitely exciting news for British Columbia.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

RBA: ACORN WOODPECKER in Saanich - July 4th

At 4 pm on July 4-2019, Robert Fraser found a female Acorn Woodpecker at Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. He watched the bird for 30 mins as it foraged in some Garry Oaks where the path forks about 150 m north of the north end of Rainbow St. The bird was still present when he left.

Map to where he last saw the bird HERE

Female Acorn Woodpecker in Saanich - Photos: Robert Fraser

Monday, July 1, 2019

RBA: NORTHERN PARULA in Port Hardy - June 29- July 1st

On the evening of June 29-2019, Charles Francis found a male Northern Parula. He first identified the bird by song but didn't see or photograph it. The bird was singing and located 320m from the foot bridge along the Estuary Trail near the mouth of the Quatsesee River. At 2:30pm on July 1-2019, he returned to the same location and relocated the bird singing in the trees in front of him. He was able to photograph the bird as it gave good views for 5 mins, before it flew off. He was unable to determine which way it flew.

He returned on the evening of July 2nd to look for the bird but could not relocate it.

Map to the exact location of where the bird was last seen HERE

Male Northern Parula in Port Hardy - Photos: Charles Francis

This is the 21st record for the province of BC.

Monday, June 24, 2019

RBA: LESSER GOLDFINCH in Kelowna - June 24th

At 3:30pm on June 24-2019, Chris Charlesworth found a male Lesser Goldfinch singing at Rose Valley Regional Park. The bird was along Mcdougal Road, which is a trail at the end of Rosewood Rd. He was 200 meters along the trail from the end of Rosewood Rd. in West Kelowna.

Map to location of bird HERE

This is the 27th record for the province of BC

Sunday, June 16, 2019

RBA: SEDGE WREN near Fort St. John - June 16-19th

At 11pm on June 16-2019, Ilya Povalyaev found a singing Sedge Wren near Watson Slough. Watson Slough is about 30 minutes from Fort St. John on Highway 29 towards Hudson's Hope. The bird is singing from the north side of Watson Rd right at the intersection with Hwy 29. It is behind a fence on private land so viewing the bird could be difficult. Please do not trespass.

A recording of the Sedge Wren can be found HERE

Exact map to location of Sedge Wren HERE

On June 19-2019, Ilya returned to the same location and the bird was still singing in the same spot. Multiple observers saw the bird on June 19th as well.

This is the 5th record for the province of BC.

Friday, June 14, 2019

RBA: LESSER GOLDFINCH in Agassiz - June 14-July 11th

On June 14th-2019, Kevin Jones photographed a male Lesser Goldfinch at a sock feeder at his private home in Agassiz. He believes the bird has been present for a week but was only able to photograph the bird today.  There are still Lesser Goldfinches present in Osoyoos as well; who may possibly be breeding there.
Male Lesser Goldfinch in Agassiz - Photo: Kevin Jones

The bird continues at the same location on July 11th.

This is the 26th record for the province of BC.

RBA: LARK BUNTING in Sparwood - June 14th

At 6:15 am on June 14-2019, Connor Charchuk found a male Lark Bunting while doing a point count. The bird was singing and he had good views of it but did not have his camera. The observer is extremely experienced with this species. He will return tomorrow to try and obtain a photo or recording.

Exact location of the bird HERE.

This area is not publicly accessible as it is an active mine.

This is the 39th record for BC.

Thursday, June 13, 2019


At 9:30 am on June 13-2019, John Hodges found an Ash-throated Flycatcher at Wilson Creek Estuary. The bird was in the most easterly man-made pond. John viewed it until 11 am when he and his fellow birder Jim McFarland left.The bird was very active moving around constantly when they left there. This is the second Ash-throated Flycatcher found today in BC. The first being in North Vancouver.

Map to where bird was seen HERE

The bird was not relocated on June 14th.

Ash-throated Flycatcher in Sechelt - Photo: John Hodges

RBA: ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER in North Vancouver - June 13-14th

At 6 am on June. 13-2019, Guy Monty and David Baird found an Ash-throated Flycatcher while inside the helipad area near Cleveland Dam.

This area is not accessible to the public but the bird should be viewable by looking through the fence from the NE corner of Cleveland Dam into the water treatment facility. The bird was perched in alders behind the building with green shipping containers.

Area to stand to view the bird is HERE

The bird was seen by one other observer in the same location at 11:30am on June 13th. 

**On June 14th, the Ash-throated Flycatcher showed up in a private yard from 8 am until 3:30 pm in North Vancouver. The bird was also photographed but the home is currently not open to the public.**

Ash-throated Flycatcher in North Vancouver - Photos: David Baird

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

RBA: CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER in Revelstoke - June 5th

At 1:05 pm on June 5-2019, Dusty Veideman found a male Chestnut-sided Warbler at his home. It was taking a bath in his bird bath at the time. The bird also returned to the bird bath at 5 pm.

If the bird returns tomorrow, the home will be open to the public for viewing. I will post details on where to go if this occurs.

**The bird never returned on June 6th.**

This is the 72nd record for the province of BC.

Male Chestnut-sided Warbler in Revelstoke - Photo: Dusty Veideman

Friday, May 31, 2019

RBA: BLACK PHOEBE near Anahim Lake - May 30th

At 4pm on May 30-2019, Steve Juhasz found a Black Phoebe flycatching from a water tank on a private ranch near Anahim Lake. He returned to his cabin to get his camera but when he returned, he was not able to relocate and photograph the bird. The bird was described well and the observer has seen many of this distinctive species.

The bird was located HERE.

This is the 25th record for the province of BC.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


At 4:45pm on May 25-2019, Michael Force found an Ash-throated Flycatcher at the Okanagan Rail Trail in Kelowna. The bird was mostly in saskatoon berry bushes and rose thickets.

Location of bird HERE

Directions: Park in the gravel parking lot on the north side of “Majestic Mattress”, 2720 Hwy 97 N. Walk south along the rail trail and the bird was on the uphill slope between telephone poles 50L103 and 50L104.

The bird was last seen at 6:30pm and was viewed by multiple observers.

The bird was not relocated on May 26th.

Ash-throated Flycatcher in Kelowna - Photos: Logan Lalonde

Ash-throated Flycatcher showing its diagnostic tail in Kelowna - Photo: Mike Force

Friday, May 24, 2019

RBA: WHITE-WINGED DOVE in Revelstoke - May 23rd

At 4 pm on May 23-2019, Eric Tompkins found a White-winged Dove sitting on a fence post in his garden on his farm HERE on Lennard Drive.

The bird flew off a couple minutes after Eric was able to photograph of it and has not been relocated by other birders.

This is the 21st record for the province of BC.

White-winged Dove in Revelstoke - Photo: Eric Tompkins

Sunday, May 19, 2019

RBA: COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD in Halfmoon Bay - May 19-22nd

At 12:20pm on May 19-2019, John Hodges spotted a male Costa’s Hummingbird at a feeder at a private home on Redrooffs Rd. As a few local birders were over having lunch they too were able to see the bird.

The home is not open to the general public and the feeder cannot be viewed from the public road.

The bird continues in the same location as of May 22nd.

This is the 30th record for the province of BC.

Male Costa's Hummingbird in Halfmoon Bay - Photo: Rand Rudland

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

RBA: GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL in Kelowna - May 13-17th

On May 13-2019, Ryan Tomlinson found what he thought to be a Western Gull but didn’t have binoculars at the time. On May 15th he put the word out to local birders who went out and saw the bird. They got some photos, including flight shots which helped confirm the sighting as an adult Great Black-backed Gull.

The bird is on sandbars at the mouth of Mission Creek.

Directions: Go to the end of Capozzi Road. There is limited parking. Water levels on the creek are high so be extremely careful walking along the edge of the creek. You then have to cross over a small dock and you will see the sandbars where the gull is through the willow trees. This was is not for anyone with mobility issues.

Map to location HERE

***The gull can take long absences of 3-5 hours between sightings. Patience is key with this bird!***

The bird was last seen in the same location at 10:25 am on May 17th. 

The bird was not relocated on May 18th despite multiple observers looking.

This is the second record for the province of BC

Great Black-backed Gull in Kelowna - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Great Black-backed Gull in Kelowna - Photo: Nathan Earley

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

RBA: SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER in Campbell River - May 13th

At 3 pm on May 13-2019, Beth Rand found and photographed a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. The bird was photographed along The Salmon Point Trail at Woodhus Slough. The bird was just past the Salmon Point Lighthouse near the small ponds. Beth watched the bird for 15 mins and then continued on her walk. An hour later when she returned, he was still there flycatching.

On May 14th she and a few birders went to look for the bird but did not relocate it. The bird was also not relocated on May 15th.

Map to where the bird was last seen along the trail HERE.

This is the 37th record for the province of BC.

A stunning Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Campbell River - Photos: Beth Rand

Monday, May 13, 2019

RBA: BROWN THRASHER in Creston - May 11th

At 10:15 am on May 11-2019, Lyle Grisedale found a Brown Thrasher at Rykerts Lake near the US-Idaho border. The bird was perched on a leafless branch HERE along Porthill Rd. By the time he got out his camera it had flown south down the lake. He followed it but lost the bird in thick bushes.

He returned with other birders on May 12th but could not relocate the bird. The bird was well described and this is the second Brown Thrasher he has seen in BC.

This is the 42nd record for the province of BC.

Monday, May 6, 2019

RBA: LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE in Squamish - May 6th

At 9:00 am on May 6-2019, Chris Dale and Christoper Di Corrado found a Loggerhead Shrike HERE at the Squamish River Estuary. The bird was at the end of 3rd Ave. They last saw the bird way out HERE in the East Marsh (where the road to the Squamish Terminals and Rail line meet).

The bird was last seen in the east marsh at 6pm on May 6th but not since.

Chris Dale was able to obtain nice photos of the bird and a video that can be viewed HERE

This is the 93rd record for BC.

Loggerhead Shrike in Squamish - Photos: Chris Dale

Thursday, May 2, 2019

RBA: INDIGO BUNTING in Nakusp - April 29 - May 3rd

An adult male Indigo Bunting is visiting a feeder at Bev Sinclair and Andy Moffat's home at 928 - 5th St. in Nakusp. The bird was first present on April 29-2019, but was first thought to be a bluebird until Julia Flesaker found and identified it correctly on May 2-2019.

The home is open to the public and birders are allowed and welcome to enter the yard to view the bird. The homeowner has generously put out chairs for birders to use. There is a sign on the front lawn welcoming birders into the yard.  Please do not walk under the feeders and walk on the upper driveway to the rear deck to view the feeder.

Please respect private property and residences in the area while viewing and do not block driveways.

The bird was last seen in the same location on May 3rd and has been viewed by multiple observers.

The bird was not seen at all on May 4th.

Male Indigo Bunting in Nakusp - Photos: Julia Flesaker

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

RBA: 2 LESSER GOLDFINCHES in Princeton - May 1-7th

Edward Lahaie found a Lesser Goldfinch at a nyjer feeder at his home at 460 Auburn Crescent in Princeton. This is the 5th year, that he has had a Lesser Goldfinch in his yard.

This is the 25th record for the province of BC. 

Lesser Goldfinches are most likely breeding now in the province in the city of Osoyoos with up to 15 birds still present. However, no nests have been found yet to confirm this.

On May 7th a second bird (a male with a darker cap) turned up at the property that looked very different than the original bird.

The public is more than welcome to come view these birds but please knock on the front door first before going in to view the bird. Please be respectful of private property and other residences in the area.

The birds continue in the same location as of May 7th.

Male Lesser Goldfinch in Princeton on May 3rd - Photo: Edward Lahaie
Second Male Lesser Goldfinch with darker cap in Princeton - Photo: Edward Lahaie 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

RBA: 3 MOTTLED AND 4 MURPHY'S PETRELS off Vancouver Island - April 30th

At 7 am on April 30-2019, Paul Lehman spotted 3 Mottled Petrels and 4 Murphy's Petrels off the northbound "Star Princess" cruise ship that was SSW of the Brooks Peninsula on Vancouver Island. All in his tour group were able to see the bird. The Mottled Petrels were the first Paul had ever seen in BC waters.

Photos of one of the Mottled Petrels at (48.954000, -128.746000) was obtained by Bruce Rideout.

The Murphy's Petrels were located: 2 birds were 172 km SW of Estevan Point HERE and 1 HERE and HERE

The Motted Petrels were located: 1 bird 160 km SSW of the Brooks Peninsula HERE and 1 HERE and 1 HERE

Mottled Petrel in BC - Photos: Bruce Rideout

Thursday, April 25, 2019

RBA: TUFTED DUCK in Point Roberts - April 24 - May 11th

At 12pm on April 24-2019, Damion Ruthven found and photographed a male Tufted Duck on Edwards Drive pond HERE in Point Roberts, WA. The bird is sticking close to a female Greater Scaup.

Point Roberts is 5 mins from Tsawwassen, BC and accessed through Canada. It is birded primarily by British Columbians, hence why I am posting about it here.

The bird was last seen in the same location on May 11th but has not been seen since.

Male Tufted Duck in Point Roberts, WA - Photo: Eric Ellingson 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

RBA: SNOWY PLOVER near Tofino - April 23rd

At 3:25pm on April 23-2019, Sarah Tyne found a Snowy Plover in Pacific Rim National Park near Tofino. The bird is on Wickaninnish Beach about 800m NW of the parking lot "E" access.

The bird is still present as of 4pm and was not associating with any other shorebirds. The bird was viewed by multiple observers.

Snowy Plover on Wickaninnish Beach - Photo: Toby Theriault
Snowy Plover in Pacific Rim National Park - Photo: Ian Cruickshank

This is the 24th record for the province of BC.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

RBA (Late Report): RUSTIC BUNTING in Bull River - Dec 16/18 to Mar 12/19

A Rustic Bunting was coming to Glen Todd’s feeder in Bull River (located in the Kootenays) from December 16/18 to March 12/19. It was initially identified by the observer as a Lapland Longspur and reported to Bird Studies Canada’s Project FeederWatch  on April 14th, 2019. Thanks to those at Bird Studies Canada (Ron Ridout and Kerrie Wilcox) the bird was identified to its correct species and reported to the BC RBA. When the bird was present it was with a large flock of Dark-eyed Juncos.

It has not returned since March 12, 2019.

This is the 6th confirmed photographed record of Rustic Bunting in BC and there are 10 reports.

Rustic Bunting at a private home in Bull River, BC - Photos: Glen Todd

Sunday, April 7, 2019

RBA: TUFTED DUCK near Kamloops - April 7-9th

At 7am on April 7-2019, a male Tufted Duck was found and photographed by Tom Beeke at Separation Lake in Knutsford (near Kamloops).

The bird was last present as of 5pm and has been viewed by multiple observers. It is in a large flock of a hundred Lesser Scaup. Best views are had by scope

The bird was last seen in the same location as of April 9th. It was not relocated on April 11-13th.

Map to location HERE

Tufted Duck near Kamloops - Photos: Tom Beeke

Sunday, March 31, 2019

RBA: LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE in Vernon - March 31-April 1st

At 11 am on March 31-2019, Christopher Siddle found and photographed a Loggerhead Shrike at the Historic O’Keefe Ranch. He viewed the bird for 12 mins as it hunted bugs on the ground from a series of posts between the bridge and the corn maze.  He then saw it fly towards the corn maze where he left it. He returned to the site and relocated the bird at 4:40pm in the same general location. It is extremely active and quickly changing perches every few mins as it hunts from the fence line that crosses the creek to St. Anne Rd.

Directions to location: Park at the O’Keefe Ranch parking lot near the sign that says “RV Parking” then cross the small bridge over Deep Creek. Look for a standing dead corn maze just to the NW. Scan the fence line north of the corn maze. This fence line runs from St. Anne’s Rd to the creek.The  shrike was hunting bugs on the ground from a series of posts between the bridge and the corn maze.

Map to ranch parking lot HERE

The bird was last seen in the same general location in a Hawthorne bush HERE on April 1st.

The bird was not relocated on April 2nd.

This is the 92nd record for the province of BC.

Loggerhead Shrike in Vernon - Photo: Michael Force
Loggerhead Shrike in Vernon - Photos: Christopher Siddle