Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 19th/20th -- RUSTIC BUNTING and BRAMBLINGS in Haida Gwaii

Canada Big Year Listers Brian Elder, Phil Cram, Mike Mulligan and Ray Woods teamed up with local birders Margo Hearne, Peter Hamel and Martin Williams on 19 October to find some classic west coast fall rarities on Haida Gwaii.

Heading the line up on the 19th, Margo spotted a first winter RUSTIC BUNTING with a flock of juncos, along the coast to the east of the Massett Golf Course. There have been only eight reports of this species from BC, the most recent from southern Vancouver Island on 22 Oct 2007.

Rustic Bunting near Massett, Haida Gwaii, 19 Oct 2012 (photo: Ray Woods)

Continuing their streak, the big listers then found two BRAMBLINGS and a juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper near the Sandpit Airport on Saturday 20 October. Terrific birding indeed! Those interested can follow the progress of these intrepid birders at:

Two Bramblings at the Sandspit Airport, Haida Gwaii, 20 Oct 2012 (photo: Brian Elder)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


The Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher originally found at Swan Lake a couple of days ago by Steven Roias was relocated this morning, October 4, near the parking lot just before 9am (C. Saunders).

**UPDATE** The bird is still present as of Oct 11.  It is found most reliably around the parking lot and nature house.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sep 15--Sprague's Pipit near Cranbrook

On Sep 15th, Dean Nicholson sent me this report after viewing a pipit at the "Spray Irrigation Ponds" (which I assume is the same area where the White-rumps Sandpipers were seen earlier this summer). This is just off Hwy 3 after making the turnoff to Fernie just east of Cranbrook.

From Dean:

"Alongside the northern pond is a service road that grows in with a variety
of weeds.  The area is full of sparrows throughout the breeding season, more
so now as they feed on seeds and grasshoppers.  I was walking along the road
observing the birds as they flew up.  Savannah Sparrows are most common,
with White-Crowned, Song, Dark-eyed Juncos, Yellow-rumped Warblers and the
odd other bird thrown in.  Yesterday there were also about 6 American Pipits
in the area, although not directly where this bird was observed.

The weeds can be very thick once off the road, and moderately thick on the
road (it is not driven on much).  The Sprague's Pipit flew up from a less
thick patch on the road and quickly dove down onto some barer ground about
10m away.  It hunkered down behind a small weed.  Even though I saw exactly
where it dropped I was surprised that it took me 10 seconds to relocate it
with my binos, it was so still.  This is not the way American Pipits seem to
react, which is to fly up and circle around calling.  The bird remained
frozen for about 30 sec and then stood up in a more alert position.  It did
not move away while I observed it.  It was not in the company of other
birds.  Certainly not with the American Pipits which were elsewhere.

When I saw it my first thought was "That seems different, more like a
Sprague's Pipit".  The bird had had streaking on its upper breast only, with
a pale belly and vent.  It had a pronounced buffy malar stripe and an
obvious white eye ring.  The crown had fine streaking.  Overall the face was
quite pale.  There were two white/pale wing bars.  The legs were decidely
pinkish, not dark.  The outer tail feathers were white, quite noticably so.
The impression was of a slim, long pale pipit without the typical
non-breeding colouration of an American Pipit.

I saw the bird in great late afternoon light.

I went back out this afternoon with a camera but couldn't find the bird

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sept 15th -- Little Gull at Harrison Lake

Rick Toochin reports excellent birding at Harrison Lake on Saturday the 15th September with a juvenile LITTLE GULL present. Also seen were eight Parasitic Jaeger and a juvenile Arctic Tern.

Juvenile Little Gull at Harrison Lake, 15 Sept (photo: Rick Toochin)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Aug 16-18--Black-headed Gull (Sechelt)

Penny does it again! After finding a juv FRANKLIN'S GULL near Sechelt a short while ago, she photographed this adult BLACK-HEADED GULL at Porpoise Bay on August 16th!
Photo: Penny Hall

Sunday, August 12, 2012

White-rumped Sandpipers near Cranbrook

From Dianne Cooper:

"3 White-rumped Sandpipers were obsverved in a small mixed flock of Baird's and Least Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs at the central dam of the Cranbrook Effluent Irrigation Reservoir Aug 11, 2012. They gave a good long showing just feeding slowly in a small area."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

3rd-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull in Kelowna

Aug 1--Possibly the *first summer record for BC(?)--a 3rd-cycle LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen today at Alki Lake (south end of the Glenmore Landfill) in Kelowna, by Chris Charlesworth. The juvenile Franklin's Gull reported last week is also still present along with 4 other gull species.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 24--Indigo Bunting in Revelstoke

Bit of a late report but the bird may still be in the area. On July 24th, Devon Anderson found a male Indigo Bunting near the Revelstoke airport. The bird has not been seen since.

July 23-24: Male PAINTED BUNTING in Ucluelet

On July 23 and 24th, Jerry Herst and Julie Dorfman (both of Chicago, IL, USA), observed a male PAINTED BUNTING visiting a feeder at the On the Inlet B&B in Ucluelet, BC.

No word yet as to whether it's still around or if there are photos.

Stay tuned...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Red-necked Stint Boundary Bay July 27th-28th

A Red-necked Stint was observed at Boundary Bay. It was seen at the foot of 96th street among a flock of peeps by Kevin Louth around 3:00pm.
Photo: Jim Martin
Present again on the evening high tide (July 28)