Sunday, May 19, 2019

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

At 12:20pm on May 19-2019, John Hodges spotted a male Costa’s Hummingbird at a feeder at Tony Greenfield’s 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.

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

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 "Star Princess" cruise ship that was SW of the Brooks Peninsula on Vancouver Island. All in his tour group were able to see the bird.

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

The Murphy's Petrels were located: HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE

The Motted Petrels were located: HERE and HERE and 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 continues in the same location on May 11th.

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


Sunday, March 24, 2019

RBA: 7 PARAKEET AUKLETS off Tofino - March 24th

On March 24-2019 during a pelagic out of Tofino on the "Miss B Haven" with Ocean Outfitters; Joachim Bertrands photographed some distant alcids that he and one other briefly observed but didn't id at the time. After the pelagic, during photo review, Joachim saw that he had indeed photographed 7 Parakeet Auklets.


 This is the 44th record for the province of BC.




Sunday, March 17, 2019

RBA: SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS off Tofino - March 17th

At 11 am on March 17-2019, Douglas Martin spotted an immature Short-tailed Albatross during a pelagic with Ocean Outfitters on the “Miss B. Haven”, out of Tofino. All 12 on board were able to see and photograph the bird well, before it flew off after 15 minutes. The bird was banded on its right leg. 15 Laysan Albatrosses were also seen during this pelagic. This is the second year in a row that a Short-tailed Albatross was seen off a pelagic in BC; as 3 were seen on a similar trip on March 24th-2018.

Map to exact location bird was seen HERE.

This is the 46th reported record for the province of BC.
(The actual number of sightings is likely higher than what is reported by birders).

Immature Short-tailed Albatross off Tofino - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev
Short-tailed Albatross off Tofino - Photo: Cathy Reader










Thursday, March 14, 2019

RBA: FERRUGINOUS HAWK in Kelowna - March 8 (Late Report)

At 2pm on March 8-2019, Ryan Tomlinson saw an adult light morph Ferruginous Hawk flying over Maquinna Rd near Hall Rd in Kelowna. Ryan does not own a camera but has seen many Ferruginous Hawks and described a hawk that was larger than a Red-tailed Hawk with a distinctive hefty build and long tapered wings that were held in a slight dihedral. He said the under-wings were very pale with no patagial bar.  He noted the wing linings mottled with dark and rufous and dark 'commas' on each wing out towards the base of the primaries. He said the flight feathers were white with tiny dark tips to the primaries. He noted that the body was very white except for the presence of dark leggings. Below the tail was pale and from above he noticed a golden hue. He also said the bird had a pale head with a dark line extending back from behind the eye. He watched the bird for 4 mins before it flew off to the NW.

Map to where he saw the bird HERE


Saturday, February 9, 2019

RBA: BROWN THRASHER in Nelson - Jan 6-Feb 8th

A Brown Thrasher was seen briefly by Stuart McDonald on January 6-2019 but he was unsure what it was. On Feb 6-2019 the bird was photographed at his home on Johnstone Rd and it was able to be identified to species.

The bird continued in the same location on Feb 8th.

The home is not open to the public.

Brown Thrasher in Nelson - Photo: Stuart McDonald

This is the 41st record for the province of BC.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

RBA: TUFTED DUCK in Victoria - Jan 19-March 24th

On January 19th, 2019, Jacques Sirois found a male Tufted Duck at Portage Inlet in Saanich. The bird was with a flock of about 250 scaup at the Craigflower Creek Estuary. It was only identified on January 28th.

The bird was found on February 1st and is still among the scaup flock in Portage Inlet. The crest of this bird is not very distinct and using features like the black back and more prominent pale, subterminal band on the bill should be used to facilitate identification. Viewing is perhaps best accomplished from the St. Giles Greenspace park at the end of Chancellor Ave. Parking is limited, so please remember to be respectful to residents and do not block roadways.

Map to one viewing location HERE

The bird was last seen on March 24th in Portage Inlet.

Male Tufted Duck in Saanich - Photo: Jacques Sirois


Saturday, January 19, 2019

RBA: DUSKY THRUSH in Nanaimo - Jan 19-Feb 15th

At approximately 4:00pm on January 19th, 2019, David Baird and Bryan Vroom found a Dusky Thrush near the Nanaimo River Estuary in Nanaimo. The bird was photographed along Gordon Road near the Holden Creek entrance to the estuary.

On January 20th the bird was relocated in the same area, feeding in the grassy fields on the north side of Gordon Road. It was seen on Jan 23rd at this location but was not seen on January 24th or 25th despite many observers looking.

***On Feb 10th-2019 the Dusky Thrush was relocated HERE near the holly tree near 1266 Gordon Rd in Nanaimo by Iwan llewellyn. Multiple observers were able to view the bird**

The bird continued in the same location on Feb 11th. The food source seems to be depleted at this location as of Feb 13th.

****On Feb 12th, the Dusky Thrush was located at a new close by spot HERE on Maughan Rd. It’s with American Robins and perching in hawthorn trees that are visible if you stand at the gate (at the map pin) and look east.****

The bird was last seen at the same location on Maughan Rd on Feb 15th. Despite multiple observers looking he has not been relocated on Feb 16th or 17th.

Please be respectful of private property and do not block traffic when parking and viewing it from the road.

This is the third record for the province of BC.

Dusky Thrush in Nanaimo - Photo: Jeremy Gatten
Dusky Thrush in Nanaimo - Photo: David Baird