Tuesday, February 23, 2016

RBA: MCKAY'S BUNTING in Richmond - Feb 23rd (late report)

At 10 am on Feb 23-2016 John Reynolds photographed a female McKay's Bunting on the south jetty at Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond, BC.

Map to location HERE

The bird was photographed and confirmed by Jack Withrow (University of Alaska Museum, Collections Manager, Birds), who noted the mantle streaks were nice and lance shaped and that there was no obvious signs of hybridsm with a Snow Bunting. 

This is the 3rd record for BC.

Female McKay's Bunting in Richmond - Photo: John Reynolds

Saturday, February 6, 2016

RBA: BLACK-HEADED GULL relocated in Vancouver, Feb 6-April 2nd

After careful study of the primaries it looks like this is the same bird as the Trout Lake gull seen from Jan 25-31st. See Here for the full explanation and photos.

Jim Palmer found a Black-headed Gull on the afternoon of Feb 6th as he was jogging on the Seawall at Stanley Park. The bird was on the rocks with some Mew Gulls at the base of Cardero Street at Beach Ave. He immediately noticed the blood red bill and legs and as the bird stretched he saw its black underwings. He said the bird seemed to have a different appearance to the Trout Lake bird. This is not out of the question as two different Black-headed Gull individuals recently turned up in Monroe, WA; however careful study of the primaries and facial patterns would need to be done to conclude this.

On Feb 13th he was seen by Mike Boyd in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum

On Feb 14th, Jay Rourke relocated the Black-headed Gull at the Off-leash dog park at Spanish Banks.

On Feb 22nd the bird is was relocated at the foot of Cardero at Beach Ave.

On Feb 29th the bird is relocated at Spanish Banks Off-Leash Dog Park and continues there as of March 3rd.

On March 4th bird was relocated at the Musqueam Golf Course flying East over the Fraser River in Vancouver. The Golf Course is located at 3904 51st Ave W. in Vancouver.

On March 14th, the bird was relocated and photographed by Bridget Spencer and it was flying East over Deering Island in Vancouver.

On April 2nd the bird was relocated by Peter Candido as it sat on the Fraser River between Iona's North Jetty and Point Grey in Richmond. It has not been relocated since.

The bird has not been seen since April 2nd.

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

Taken at Cardero at Beach Ave by David Baker

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

RBA: BLACK-HEADED GULL in Vancouver, Jan 25-Jan 31st

On Jan 25th at 8:40 am, Edward Nygren found an adult Black-headed Gull in non-breeding plumage in the NW corner of Trout Lake. He noticed right away the small size of the gull , the dark ear spot on the white head, the black wing tips and the blood red legs and bill. The bird was foraging on the lawn with Glaucous-winged and California Gulls.

The bird was relocated at 10:00 am in the gravel soccer field in the West side of the park by Daniele Mitchell on Jan 26th and was photographed by multiple observers. It moves between sitting on the lake and the West parking lot and soccer field.

The address for Trout Lake/John Hendry Park is: 3300 Victoria Drive, Vancouver.

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

Adult Black-headed Gull at Trout Lake in Vancouver - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev 

Monday, January 11, 2016

TUFTED DUCK in Richmond, Jan 11th-March 3rd

At 1pm on Jan 11th, Paul Clapham found an adult male Tufted Duck in the South West inner pond at Iona Regional Park in Richmond. The bird was with 100 Lesser Scaups and Ring-necked ducks.  He was observed roosting on the island in the North West inner pond and also swimming in the NE  and SE inner ponds.

To get the gate code to access the inner ponds, please contact Jude Grass at judegrass@shaw.ca

The park is located at 945 Ferguson Rd in Richmond and is open from 8 am until 5pm daily.

The bird has not been relocated since March 3rd.

Tufted Duck in Richmond - Photo: Peter Candido

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

RBA: SIBERIAN ACCENTOR in Surrey, Jan 3-20th

At 12pm on Jan 6th, George Clulow and Mandy Lu found and photographed a Siberian Accentor at Gill Farm (5224 160th St). This is along 160th St. south of Colebrook Rd in Surrey in the blueberry fields on the east side of the road. The bird was flocking with 6 Dark-eyed Juncos and was perched in the Northern edge of the blueberry field in a Red Alder. The best way to access this location is to park in front of Capella's Farm on the shoulder of the road and walk south on 160th but it is also accessible South from Hwy 10. The bird is very skittish. The bird was actually first found on Jan 3rd at 2pm on the White Rock Christmas Bird Count but the observer wasn't sure of what he had seen until he photographed it on Jan 6th. More info on previous Siberian Accentors in British Columbia can be found HEREA note on parking and viewing. Please park off to the side of the road at wide spots or as far onto the shoulder as possible. When viewing from the roadway (the only viewpoint), please be respectful of passing vehicles and allow unimpeded passage to the residents and workers who utilize this road and please stay off private property at all times.

It has been seen in the hedgerow to the left (north) side of the house in blackberries and alders, and has also been seen to the right (south) of the house in the large bush. It goes into the blueberry fields as well as further down the hedgerow, both of which can make it difficult or impossible to see, and it may disappear for extended periods of time,. There have been several days with no sightings. When present, it is often only visible for brief moments at a time. It may associate with juncos or be by itself, but either way is usually inconspicuous.

Update: The accentor has not been relocated since Jan 20th.

Siberian Accentor in Surrey - Photo: John Gordon

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

RBA: Lesser Goldfinch in Abbotsford, Dec 30th - March 30th

Update: It has not been relocated since March 30th.

On Feb 9th, Chris and Sandi Buis relocated what they thought was the Lesser Goldfinch at the same location. The bird was seen again by Rick Toochin on Feb 11th and the ID was confirmed.

On Dec 30th, Rick Toochin and Chris Buis found a female Lesser Goldfinch at his feeders behind his hotel "The Brooksisde Inn" at 2379 Chardonnay Lane in Abbotsford. The property is open to the public but please do not point bins or camera lenses at the hotel windows which could disturb hotel guests.  Also remember to keep your voices down when visiting the property. The bird is actively feeding at various feeders at the back and sides of the property and best viewing is from the grassy field in behind the property. On Jan 8th a Common Redpoll was seen feeding alongside the Lesser Goldfinch.

Photo: Becke Sawatzky
Photo: Peter Candido

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

RBA: BROWN THRASHER in Revelstoke, Dec 28-April 8th

On Dec 28th,  Patti Matsushita found a remarkable bird at her backyard feeder, a Brown Thrasher and her husband Mas was able to photograph the bird, which is continuing as of April 8th.

The yard is open to the public at 1100 Cottonwood Street in Revelstoke.  Best times to view the bird when it is usually actively feeding, are between 11:00 am and 2:00pm (PST). As always when visiting private property please be respectful of the owners' property and surrounding neighborhood.

This is the 38th record for the province of BC.

The bird has not been seen since April 8th.

Brown Thrasher in Revelstoke - Photo: Brian Stech
Brown Thrasher in Revelstoke - Photo: Reid Hildebrandt

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

RBA: Indigo Bunting in Port Coquitlam, Dec 21st-25th

On December 21st, John Findlay found an Immature Male Indigo Bunting at his backyard feeder. The bird was seen in a mixed flock of Dark-eyed Juncos and various Sparrows. Since then, the bird has been steadily returning to his feeder including on Dec 25th.

The home is not open to the public. 

The bird was last seen on December 25th.

Indigo Bunting in Coquitlam - Photos: Hilary Maguire

Saturday, December 19, 2015

RBA: REDWING in Victoria AGAIN! - Dec.19-April 14th

On December 19th during the Victoria CBC, Nathan Hentze and Mike Davis found a Redwing at about 13:45. The bird was first in a vacant lot on the east side of South Valley Dr. in Victoria (off of Wilkinson, near Victoria General Hospital). It then flew to the west side where another vacant lot is, and disappeared potentially into a large cedar tree. The house closest to these lots is 3940 S. Valley Dr. *Note that if viewing this area on Google Maps, south valley drive ends on both sides of these lots, and it shows up as a dead-end. This has since been paved, and the road now connects through. However, this gap on the map is exactly where the vacant lots are located. Some google earth maps of the area can be viewed at: https://volantbc.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/seeing-redwing/

The road is relatively narrow here. Please do not park directly across from another parked vehicle as this may prevent service vehicles from getting through. There are several pull-outs on the road for visitor parking. There have been a couple incidents with an angry resident, so please do not use any driveways to turn around in, trespass, block vehicles, or anything else that might overstay birders' welcome in this neighbourhood.

Remarkably, this is the exact area where an out-of-town visitor photographed a Redwing on Dec. 16, 2013 (though unfortunately not known to the birding public until several months later).

The Redwing was still present through April 14th. The bird is mostly being seen in the holly tree and oaks in the lane behind 3957 South Valley Drive.

The bird has not been seen since April 14th.

This is the second record for BC.

Photo: Daniel Donnecke

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Summer Tanager in New Denver, Nov 8-16

Linda Norman found and photographed this Summer Tanager in her New Denver neighbourhood. It stuck around for 8 days but has not been seen since. If it re-appears we will update this report. This is the 4th record of the species for BC.
Photo: Linda Norman