Monday, November 16, 2015

Tufted Duck at Salt Spring Island, Nov. 15

On the morning of Nov. 15, John Sprague found a Tufted Duck in Outer Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island. The bird was floating in a raft of 51 Red-breasted Mergansers, and several grebes. He described the bird as a juvenile.

The bird was about 300 m away near Third Sisters Island, and good scope views were obtained.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


On November 9th Geoffrey Newell found a finch near the corner of Beach Dr. and Newport Ave. at the Victoria Golf Course at 12:00 pm. The bird was reported to be very vocal, calling from a tree top and roof top. Initially identified as a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, photos that were subsequently posted appear to show an Oriental Greenfinch.

The call heard was described as a "rather soft, yet slightly husky, and obviously finch-like chortle, somewhat like 'prech prech prech' with 3-4 notes together".

The bird was not found during searches on Nov. 11th.

Two photos were obtained. The bottom picture here is a crop of one of these photos.
Photos: Geoffrey Newell

There are six subspecies of Oriental Greenfinch. Only one, C. s. kawarahiba, is generally considered to be able to vagrate to North America owing to its breeding range and migratory habits. Although the photo is poor, the deep chestnut breast and perhaps head pattern seem to fit this subspecies.

This bird was confirmed by the BC Bird Records Commitee as the first confirmed record for the province of British Columbia.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

NORTHERN PARULA at Vaseux Lake - Nov 5

This morning Jim Ginns, Janna Leslie and Paul Graham found a beautiful immature male Northern Parula! The bird was first seen at 9:15 am and was still present when they left at 10:45 am. It was foraging in the birch trees just before the start of the board walk. The bird stayed on the north side of the trail for the most part actively foraging in the birch. Paul Graham photographed the bird.

*Update - The bird has not been relocated on Nov 6th.*

Photo: Paul Graham

Monday, November 2, 2015

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Victoria - November 2

A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was found the morning of November 2nd in Victoria near the Chinese Cemetary (at Crescent Rd/Penzance Rd east of Clover Point) by Mike and Barb McGrenere. The bird was seen until about 10:15 am. The bird was in some low bushes at the point before flying north of the point towards some houses and into a pine tree. It was reportedly calling and foraging.

The bird was not relocated on November 3rd.

This is the 17th record for the province of BC.
Photo: Aziza Cooper

Friday, October 30, 2015

FIELD SPARROW at Oliver's Landing (near Squamish), Oct. 30-31

A Field Sparrow was found by Ken Wright at Furry Creek, Oliver's Landing, at 4:10 pm on Oct. 30th. From the townhouses at Oliver's Landing there's a trail that follows the seashore; walk until you get to a couple of orange cones and some gravel. The bird was near the cones. The coordinates for the location are 49.5854 N, -123.2248 W.  This would be a first provincial record if accepted.
The bird was relocated just south of the same area associating with White-crowned sparrows on the morning of Oct 31st but was not relocated since.

Update: There have been no reports either positive or negative on this bird since one observer reported the bird first thing the morning of October 31st. Further updates by anybody looking are appreciated, and can be left in the comments section or emailed.

Photo: Ken Wright
Photo: Ken Wright

Sunday, October 25, 2015

BC First: WOOD THRUSH in Summerland, Oct 25-27th

Around 8:20 am on Sunday October 25th, Robyn, Tom, and Matthew Lowery looked out their window to find a stunning WOOD THRUSH in their back yard. This is 5816 Nixon Road in the village of Trout Creek (in between Summerland and Penticton). The bird was also viewed in The Campbell's neighboring driveway at 5618 Nixon Rd (Please stay on the driveway here to view the bird in the front yard). The bird was viewed again on Oct 26th and 27th by multiple observers in both locations!

If accepted, this would be a first for British Columbia. The Lowerys are open to visitors, and suggest "one can approach the backyard through a south gate and that morning might be the best time for find it" (Fide Laurie Rockwell)

The 5816 property hosted a Brambling in the winter of 2012/2013.

The bird was not seen on October 28th.

BC’s first Wood Thrush in Summerland - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev

Wood Thrush in Summerland - Photo: Peter Candido

Thursday, October 22, 2015

BROWN BOOBY (a different one) west of Bamfield, Oct. 20

Observers aboard a NOAA research vessel found an adult female Brown Booby on October 20th (Alicia Amerson). The bird was at N 48˚ 47.08" W 125˚ 20.62". This is about 9 km west of Cape Beale, near Bamfield, on Vancouver Island.

Numbers of Brown Boobies have been sighted all along the Pacific coast this fall, and more birds may yet be found by dedicated or lucky observers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Abbotsford/Chilliwack area, Oct. 5-22

There have been multiple reports of a Lesser Black-backed Gull around Abbotsford/Chilliwack this month. On October 5-10 Rick Toochin reported an adult in the Matsqui Prairie area (Beharrel Rd). A bird matching the description of that individual was located on Chilliwack Central Rd. west of Gibson Rd. on Oct. 21 by Gord Gadsden. It was relocated on Sumas Central Rd. the following morning.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Kevin Louth found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at the North side of the Boundary Bay dyke this morning (Oct. 16). The bird was located in the hedgerow halfway between 104th Street and the pilings. It was viewed by multiple observers at 10:45 am as it moved rapidly through the tops of bushes and fed on insects. It was relocated at 12:45pm by Brent Diakow in shrubs on the North side of the dyke near the 104th airport parking lot.

The bird was photographed by Peter Candido.

The bird has not been seen since October 16th.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Delta - Photo: Peter Candido

Sunday, October 11, 2015

BROWN BOOBY off Sooke, October 11-12th

On October 11th Cathy Carlson found a juvenile Brown Booby on a log about 3 miles south of Beechy Head (East Sooke). This is southwest of Race Rocks.

On October 12th in the late afternoon the/a booby was relocated floating on a log off of Silver Spray near East Sooke Park (Jeremy Gatten). The bird was >1 km distant. This is relatively close to Beechy Head, where the original sighting took place.

Anybody searching for this bird from shore would be advised to scan boat masts as well as any rocky islets or areas with heavy bird foraging activity in addition to any floating debris. Getting out on a boat would be the best method, allowing closer approach to Race Rocks and other areas. Boat rentals *may* be available from Pedder Bay Marina.

The bird has not been seen since October 12th.

Photo: Cathy Carlson