Friday, December 6, 2019

RBA: RED-THROATED PIPIT in Victoria - Dec 6-29th

At 1:00 PM on December 6th, Geoffrey Newell found a Red-throated Pipit at Martindale Flats in Victoria. The bird was off the South side of Island View Rd east of Lamont Rd.

He notes "I found the bird at 1:00 PM in the grassy and weedy fields on the south side of Island View Rd east of Puckle Rd. It was last seen closer to McHugh Rd (a little further east). The bird was alone, not with American Pipits, and produced its diagnostic high clear "psssssss" flight call whenever it took flight. This is my 6th Red-throated Pipit in 4 years around Victoria!"

The bird continues as of Dec. 29th in the plowed field on the south side of Island View Rd between McHugh and Puckle Rds. 

This is the 60th record for BC.


Red-throated Pipit in Victoria - Photo: Jeremy Gatten
Red-throated Pipit in Victoria - Photo: Liam Singh

Thursday, November 14, 2019

RBA: WHITE WAGTAILS near Prince Rupert - Nov 10-13th and Dec 9-11th

Erik Milton found a White Wagtail of the Black-backed subspecies (lugens) on Triple Islands Lighthouse, that he mans. The bird was present from Nov 10-13th. The bird was not seen on Nov 14th.

This location is not open to the public.

Map to location HERE

On Dec 9-11th Jim Redden found another or the same White Wagtail 32km away from Triple Islands Lighthouse at Green Island Lighthouse. A photo of the bird can be seen HERE.

The BRC has accepted this as a separate record, noting it could be the same individual that Erik Milton first found.

This is the 15th and 16th record for the province of BC.

White Wagtail in Prince Rupert - Photo: Erik Milton

Monday, November 11, 2019

RBA: BLACK-THROATED SPARROW in Revelstoke - Nov 11-Dec 9th

At 8:30 am on November 11-2019, Darlene Cancelliere found an adult Black-throated Sparrow in her yard. This is not the first rarity to visit her yard. She has also had such rarities as a Black-throated Blue Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Brambling, Sage Thrasher, Dickcissel and Blackburnian Warbler just to name a few.

The home is open to the public at 407 Edward St. Please view the bird from the front yard only and do not enter the backyard. Please be respectful of all residences in the area.

**The bird was rediscovered on Nov 23 and Dec 9 at the same location, both following snow storms**

The bird has not been seen since Dec 9th.

This is the 50th record for the province of BC.

Black-throated Sparrow in Revelstoke - Photos: Darlene Cancelliere

Sunday, November 10, 2019

RBA: IVORY GULL in Wardner - Nov 10th

At 12:15 pm on November 10-2019, Alan Barnard and Mike Bentley found an Ivory Gull on Lake Koocanusa. The bird was viewed from 50 feet away with binoculars as it flew by them. They were not able to get photos (didn't have cameras) but had clear views. Their description of an adult all white bird with black legs and greenish yellow tipped bill does not fit anything else but an Ivory Gull. A leucistic gull would be ruled out due to the black legs. The bird kept flying south after their observation and they tried to relocate it for 8 km down the lake in vain but increasing snowfall made them stop.

However, there is an area further down the river that birders should check at Koocanusa Crossing that has open water (not iced over) with plenty of spawned out Kokanee Salmon that could attract the gull.

Map to location of where bird was last seen HERE.

This is the 8th record for the province of BC.

*The gull was not relocated on Nov 11th, despite multiple observers looking over a 20km stretch for several hours.*

Saturday, November 9, 2019

RBA: BROWN BOOBY in Victoria - Nov 8th

At 1:15pm on November 8-2019, Gordon Rowles saw an adult female Brown Booby who tried to land on his sailboat. The bird was HERE about 4 miles south of Victoria and eventually flew off to the SW in the direction of Race Rocks.

This is the same bird that was recently seen in Richmond due to the notch in the same right wing. You can read about that sighting and see the photos of the wing with the damaged secondary feather HERE.

This will be treated as the same record, which is the 18th record for BC.

Brown Booby off Victoria - Photos: Gordon Rowles

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

RBA: BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER in North Van - Nov 5-15th

At 1 pm on November 5-2019, John Gordon and Carlo Giovanella found and photographed a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in a mixed warbler/kinglet/chickadee flock just east of the bridge at Maplewood Flats. The bird has been mostly seen in a deciduous tree with orange leaves just east of the bridge. Its tail is very short and most likely was taken by a predator.

Map to original location of bird HERE

This is the 23rd record for the province of BC.

The bird continues in the same location and was also seen HERE on Nov 15th and has been viewed by multiple observers.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in North Van - Photo: John Gordon

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in North Van - Photo: Cos van Wermeskerken 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

RBA: ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER in Burns Lake - Oct 30-Nov 3rd

At 10am on Oct 30-2019, Keith Walker found an Ash-throated Flycatcher perched on the fence of his property on Colleymount Rd just SW of Burns Lake.

The location is open to the public. Please contact the RBA for further details.

This is not the first rarity to be had on his property. He has also had an Oriental Greenfinch and Curve-billed Thrasher before.

The bird was last seen on Nov 3rd and has been viewed by multiple observers.

**The bird was not relocated on Nov 4th.**


Ash-throated Flycatcher in Burns Lake - Photo: Jeff Dyck
Ash-throated Flycatcher near Burns Lake - Photo: Keith Walker

Saturday, October 19, 2019

RBA: ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER in Delta - Oct 19-22nd

At 12:30 pm on October 19-2019, Laura, Alan and Liz Stewart found and photographed an Ash-throated Flycatcher at Boundary Bay.

The bird was perched near the mansion near 64th St and was actively flycatching.

Map to first location of bird HERE

The bird was relocated HERE on Oct 22nd and was viewed by multiple observers.

Ash-throated Flycatcher in Delta - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Ash-throated Flycatcher in Delta - Photos: Laura Stewart





RBA: 2 WHITE-FACED IBIS in Deroche - Oct 19th

At 11 am on October 19-2019, Rick Skerry photographed 2 White-faced Ibises flying east over Nicomen Slough in Deroche near Mission.

Map to location HERE

This is the 47th record for BC.


2 White-faced Ibis in Deroche - Photo: Rick Skerry


Friday, October 18, 2019

RBA: YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER in Victoria - Oct 18-24th

At 12pm on Oct 18-2019, a bird was found that was thought to be a Tennessee Warbler. At 4:15 pm Geoffrey Newell and Jeff Gaskin joined up to twitch the bird. Newell immediately realized the bird was actually an old world warbler. The bird turned out to be a Yellow-browed Warbler (ABA Code 4).

The bird was along the SE dyke at Panama Flats, south of the metal building off Carey Rd.

Map to location of bird HERE

*Parking is on Baker Street off Carey Rd. Please do not block driveways. Police have been ticketing offenders who do so and park too close to street corners.

The entrance is on Carey Rd near Baker Rd - walk around the gray metal gates with the No Parking signs to access Panama Flats and the trail to the bird.*

This is the first record for Canada and the 1st for BC.

The bird was last seen in the same location on Oct 24th and has been viewed by multiple observers. 

***The bird was not relocated on Oct 25th.***

You can watch a video of the news story about this bird HERE

Yellow-browed Warbler in Victoria - Photo: Meghin Spencer
Yellow-browed Warbler in Victoria - Photo: John Gordon
Yellow-browed Warbler in Victoria - Photo: Geoffrey Newell



Thursday, October 10, 2019

RBA: RED-THROATED PIPIT in Nanaimo - Oct 10th

At 12:10 pm on October 10-2019, Blair Dudeck found and photographed a Red-throated Pipit at Nanaimo River Estuary.

As of 3 pm the bird was still present and has been viewed by multiple observers.

Directions to bird: Drive down to the end of Raines Rd. Park in the lot at the very end of the road (map HERE) and walk down the trail that starts at the yellow gate. Go past the big oak tree and keep walking straight. You will come to a wooden fence. The bird was seen near the NE corner of this fence and sat on this fence, which is close to the newly built viewing mound of dirt. It was also seen in the grasses on the other side of the pond.

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

This is the 59th record for the province of BC.


Sunday, October 6, 2019

RBA: RED-SHOULDERED HAWK in Metchosin - Oct 6th

At 12:45pm on Oct 6-2019, David Bell found an immature Red-shouldered Hawk in a kettle of Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks over Rocky Point Bird Observatory.  Unfortunately he was unable to photograph the bird adequately due to distance.

There are no confirmed photographed records of Red-shouldered Hawks to date in BC but one was observed by other experienced observers in Metchosin and Sooke in 2009.

*There is no public access at this location*

Friday, October 4, 2019

RBA: COMMON CRANE in Peace River - Oct 3-7th

At 11 am on October 3-2019, Jeannie Smith reported a bird to Mark Phinney as a possible Whooping Crane.

At 11:30 am on October 4-2019, Mark Phinney went to look for the bird and when he got to the location he actually found the bird to be a Common Crane (ABA Code 4) instead. The bird was located just north of Doe River and was in a mixed flock of 1400 Sandhill Cranes.

The bird seems to go back and forth across the road where it has been feeding and roosting just west of Hartnell Wetlands.

The flock has been feeding in a harvested wheat field and the best spot to watch it seems to be from HERE (an access road to a new well site on the west side of the Rolla highway, with 3 big black tanks). Please do not go all the way into the pad as it is an active site and there could be safety hazards.

Mark was able to photograph the bird by digiscoping the flock.

The bird was last seen on October 7-2019 and has been viewed by multiple observers.

*There has been no further sightings since Oct 7th. Snow has fallen and the cranes have departed the area*

Map to location of bird HERE

This is the 2nd record for BC.


Common Crane in Peace River - Photo: Christopher Coxson
Common Crane in Peace River - Photo: Jeff Dyck

RBA: GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE in Lumby - Oct 4-5th

At 9:30am on October 4-2019, Scott Thomson found a Green-tailed Towhee in Lumby. The bird was in the weeds by the side of the road and on the fence line near the corn fields on Horner Rd near the intersection of Whitevale Rd. Scott was able to photograph the bird.

Map to location HERE

The bird was last seen in the same location on Oct 5 and has been viewed by multiple observers. 
*It was not seen on October 6th.*

This is the 12th record for BC

Green-tailed Towhee in Lumby - Photos: Scott Thomson




Tuesday, October 1, 2019

RBA: BROWN SHRIKE in Metchosin - Oct 1-3rd

At 7:45am on Oct 1-2019, a hatch year Brown Shrike (ABA Code 4) was banded by David Bell at Rocky Point Bird Observatory.

The bird was last seen in the same location on October 3rd.

There is no public access at this site.

***The Rocky Point site is located in a secure area on Department of National Defence Lands. Only registered volunteers who have been cleared by the Department of Defense are permitted to access the site. ***

This is the 1st record for BC and 2nd for Canada.


Brown Shrike in Metchosin - Photos: David BellP
The Brown Shrike has been hanging around since its release - Photo: Joachim Bertrands 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

RBA: BROWN BOOBY in Richmond - Sept 21-Oct 5th

At 8:30 am on Sept 29-2019 an adult female Brown Booby was photographed by Rick Zapf off the tip of the south jetty at Iona in Richmond.

The bird was first reported by Dan Pontalti and Grant Edwards on Sept 21-2019 but was never photographed. This is most likely the same bird.

Map to location HERE

This is the 18th record for the province of BC.

***The bird was last seen off the tip of the south jetty on Oct 5th. ***

*A scope or boat is required for this location. The best time to look for this bird is before 11am*

Brown Booby in Richmond (Oct 1, 2019) - Photos: Melissa Hafting
Brown Booby in Richmond (Oct 2, 2019)  - Photo: Kathryn Taylor

Friday, September 27, 2019

RBA: CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER in Metchosin - Sept 27th

At 9am on Sept 27-2019, a hatch year Chestnut-sided Warbler was banded at Rocky Point Bird Observatory in Metchosin.

Chestnut-sided Warbler in Metchosin - Photo: David Bell


This location is not open to the public.

This is the 76th record for BC.

RBA: 2 ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS in Tofino - Sept 26th

At 1:30pm on Sept 26th-2019, Ian Maton and his wife found 2 Ash-throated Flycatchers between access points 2 and 4 on Long Beach. At least one bird was photographed.

Map to location HERE

1 of 2 Ash-throated Flycatchers in Tofino - Photos: Ian Maton


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

RBA: SUMMER TANAGER in Fraser Lake - Sept 25-Oct 1st

At 10 am on Sept 25-2019, Tom Davies found a male Summer Tanager eating berries in his yard.

The home is open to the public and the address is 2835 Francois Lake Rd, Fraser Lake

*Please be respectful of private property and other residences in the area.*

The bird continued in the same location as of Oct 1-2019 and has been viewed by multiple observers.

***The bird was not seen on October 2nd.***

This is the 7th record for the province of BC.

Male Summer Tanager in Fraser Lake - Photos: Ray Ostrander
Summer Tanager in Fraser Lake - Photo: Nancy Krueger


Monday, September 23, 2019

RBA: SNOWY PLOVER on the NW coast of Vancouver Island - Sept 23rd.

On Sept 23, 2019, Ben Ivany et al. found a juvenile Snowy Plover feeding on bugs on the beach at Raft Cove Provincial Park. This location is 65 km SW of Port Hardy and access is by a gravel logging road out of Holberg.

Map to location HERE

This is the 27th record for BC.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

RBA: BROWN BOOBY off Haida Gwaii - Sept 21st

At 5pm on Sept 21-2019, Roger Stone found an adult Brown Booby off Haida Gwaii. The bird was flying beside his boat for 5 mins and was photographed 80 miles SE of Moresby Island.

This is the 17th record for the province of BC.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

RBA: GARGANEY in Kelowna - Sept 18-19th

At 1pm on Sept 18-2019, Chris Charlesworth and Ryan Tomlinson found a female Garganey (ABA Code 4) in the SE corner of Alki Lake at the Kelowna (Glenmore) Landfill. It is located at 2710 John Hindle Dr.

Visitors must sign in at the office upon arrival and visiting hours for birders are from 7:30am to 4:00pm - 7 days a week.

Map to location of bird HERE

The bird was last seen at 9 am on Sept 19th and was viewed by multiple observers. The bird was not relocated later in the day.

The bird was not relocated on Sept 20th.

This is the second record for the Okanagan and 14th record for BC.

Garganey in Kelowna - Photo: Don Cecile
Garganey in Kelowna - Photo: Chris Charlesworth 

RBA: CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER in Metchosin - Sept 18th

At 8:25 am on Sept 18-2019, Daniel Donnecke found a hatch year Chestnut-sided Warbler at Rocky Point Bird Observatory during census. The bird was relocated later by David Bell at 9:50 am.

This area is not open to the public.

This is the 75th record for the province of BC.

Friday, September 13, 2019

RBA: CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER in Victoria - Sept 13-15th

On the morning of Sept 13-2019, Chris Saunders found a first year/female type Chestnut-sided Warbler at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary. The bird was in a mixed flock and first located in the cottonwoods south of the bridge and then flew towards the parking lot. Multiple observers were able to see the bird in cottonwoods by the Saanich Fire Station and it was photographed.

Map to location HERE

The bird continued in the same location as last described on Sept 15th.

Chestnut-sided Warbler in Victoria - Photo: Daniele Donnecke


This is the 74th record for BC.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

RBA: SNOWY PLOVER in Tofino - Sept 12th

At 5 pm on Sept 12-2019, Ian Cruickshank found a juvenile Snowy Plover at Schooner Cove Beach. He was able to photograph the bird as well.

Map to location of bird  HERE

Snowy Plover in Tofino - Photos: Ian Cruickshank 

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

Sunday, September 8, 2019

RBA: 2 SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS off Tofino - Sept 8th

At 11:47am on Sept 8-2019, Joachim Bertrands spotted 2 Scripps's Murrelets on a pelagic with Ocean Outfitters out of Tofino.

Many but not all of the people on board were able to see the birds and photos were obtained.

Map to exact location of birds HERE

This is the 36th record for the province of BC.

Scripps's Murrelet off Tofino - Photo: Joachim Bertrands 

RBA: CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER in Kelowna - Sept 8-9th

At 10:00 am on Sept 8-2019, Kalin Ocana found an immature/female type Chestnut-sided Warbler at Maude Roxby Park. The bird was in a mixed flock of warblers that also included a Tennessee.

Map to exact location of bird HERE.

The bird continued and was viewable by multiple observers as of 1:40pm.

The bird was still present in the same location on Sept 9, 2019.

Chestnut-sided Warbler in Kelowna - Photo: Kalin Ocana

This is the 73rd record for the province of BC.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

RBA: 2 SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS off Tofino - Sept 7th

At 12:55pm on Sept 7-2019, Joachim Bertrands spotted 2 Scripps's Murrelets on a pelagic with Ocean Outfitters out of Tofino.

Many but not all of the people on board were able to see the birds and photos were obtained.

Map to exact location of birds HERE

This is the 35th record for the province of BC.

Scripps's Murrelets off Tofino - Photo: Joachim Bertrands

RBA: SCRIPPS'S MURRELET off the NW tip of Vancouver Island - Sept 4th

At 1 pm on Sept 4-2019, Michael Willison and Andrew and Eric Pratt saw a single Scripps's Murrelet from a cruise ship HERE off Cape Scott. No photo was obtained but the bird was well described.

This is the 34th record for the province of BC.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

RBA: HAWAIIAN PETREL off Haida Gwaii - August 21st

At 12:15pm on August 21-2019, Michael Turso photographed a Hawaiian Petrel off Haida Gwaii while aboard the "Ovation of the Seas" Royal Caribbean cruise ship en route to Victoria.

Location of bird HERE

This is the first photographed record for BC and the 5th record for the province.

Hawaiian Petrel off Haida Gwaii - Photos: Michael Turso

Saturday, August 17, 2019

RBA: GUADALUPE MURRELET off Tofino - August 17th

At 12:15pm on August 17-2019, Mike Toochin, Melissa Hafting and Ilya Povalyaev spotted a Guadalupe Murrelet 51 km  SW of Cox Point between Clayoquot Canyon and Loudoun Canyon. The birds were viewed from the "Miss B Haven" on a pelagic with Ocean Outfitters out of Tofino. The Guadalupe Murrelet was less than 10 feet from the boat. Multiple passengers on board were able to view and photograph the bird. At the same time a second Xantus’s Murrelet flew off the water before a clear view of its face could be had.

Exact location of bird was HERE

Guadalupe Murrelet off Tofino - Photo: Liron Gertsman
Guadalupe Murrelet off Tofino - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev

This is the 3rd record for the province of BC.


RBA: 4 SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS off Tofino - August 17th

At 3pm on August 17-2019, Mike Toochin, Melissa Hafting and Mark Wynja spotted 2 Scripps's Murrelets 38.3 km SW of Cox Point off Tofino. The birds were viewed from the "Miss B Haven" on a pelagic with Ocean Outfitters.  The birds sat on the water allowing for great views and never flew during the whole time present.

At 3:30pm on August 17-2019, Liron Gertsman spotted 2 more Scripps's Murrelets in a different location - 29.4 km SW of Cox Point. The birds sat on the water allowing for great views and never flew during the whole time present.

All 12 passengers on board were able to see and photograph all 4 Scripps's Murrelets well.

Exact location of the first pair HERE.

Exact location of the second pair HERE.

First pair of Scripps's Murrelets seen off Tofino - Photos: Melissa Hafting

2nd pair of Scripps's Murrelets seen off Tofino - Photos: Liron Gerstman

This is the 33 record for the province of BC.


RBA: MANX SHEARWATER off Tofino - August 17th

At 9am on August 17-2019, Thomas Plath spotted a Manx Shearwater in a bait ball flock off the SE tip of Cleland Island while on a pelagic trip on the Miss B Haven with Ocean Outfitters. 12 other passengers on board were able to see the bird.

This bird appears to be different than the bird first found in the same area by Artie Ahier on August 13th and 15th. The bird on August 17th has more worn primaries unlike Artie's cleaner bird. There was also a Slaty-backed Gull in the flock.

Exact location of bird HERE

Manx Shearwater off Tofino - Photos: Liron Getstman

Manx Shearwater off Tofino - Photos: Melissa Hafting

This is the 62nd record for the province of BC.