Sunday, May 7, 2017

RBA: MANX SHEARWATER off Ucluelet - May 7th

At 1:15pm on May 7-2017, while aboard the MV Frances Barkley, young birder Liam Singh (13 yrs of age) spotted a Manx Shearwater during the WildResearch Pelagic and BCFO Young Birder Field Trip. The bird was located 6 Km SW off of Amphitrite Point. It was viewed by multiple observers and photographed.

GPS coordinates were N 48.89931° W 125.62473° 

This is the 57th record for the province of BC.

Manx Shearwater off Ucluelet (note the white undertail coverts) - Photos: Liam Singh

Thursday, May 4, 2017

RBA: BLACK-TAILED GULL in Gingolx - May 4th

At 7 am on May 4th-2017,  Jeremy Gatten was working along the Gingolx (Kincolith) waterfront in the Nisga'a Nation, when he found an adult Black-tailed Gull. He was scanning through hundreds of Mew Gulls just south of the Kincolith River off the north end of Waterfront St, when he spotted a dark gray-backed gull. The yellow bill with black subterminal band and red tip was immediately noticeable to him and he was able to see the bird in flight. Seeing the tail with white base and thick black band surrounded by a thin margin of white, allowed him to confirm that it was in fact an adult Black-tailed Gull. He was able to photograph the bird as well. The Eulachon run ended last month and the decaying fish has brought in thousands of gulls to the Nass River Valley.  He will be in the area for another 4 days and will be monitoring the gull's presence.

Map to location HERE

This has been an incredible year for provincial rarities for Jeremy. In addition to the Black-tailed Gull, he has found a Purple Sandpiper, Redwing and a Black Phoebe.

The Black-tailed Gull has not been seen since May 4th but very well could still be in the area.

This is the 2nd photo-documented record of Black-tailed Gull in the province of BC.

Adult Black-tailed Gull in the Nass River Valley - Photo: Jeremy Gatten

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

RBA: DICKCISSEL in Revelstoke - May 3-7th

At 7:30am on May 3rd-2017, Darlene Cancelliere found and photographed a female Dickcissel in her front yard. The bird was feeding on the ground under her feeders, alongside Red-winged Blackbirds and White-crowned Sparrows. It also perched in her tree for several minutes.

Darlene has been fortunate enough to have many rare birds in her yard in the past, including a Brambling, Black-throated Blue Warbler and Hooded Warbler.

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 last seen on May 7th.

This is the 26th record for the province of BC.
Female Dickcissel in Revelstoke - Photo: Darlene Cancelliere

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

RBA: LESSER GOLDFINCH in Princeton - May 3-5th

At 6 pm on May 2nd - 2017,  Edward Lahaie found a male Lesser Goldfinch at a nyjer feeder at his home in Princeton. This is the third year, that he has had a Lesser Goldfinch in his yard.

The home is open to the public and the address is 460 Auburn Crescent, Princeton. Please knock on the front door before proceeding to the backyard. Please be respectful of the homeowner's property and residences in the area and do not block driveways.

The bird continues as of May 5th.

Male Lesser Goldfinch in Princeton - Photo: Sue Elwell

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

RBA: LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE near Hope - April 25th

At 10:15 am on April 25th-2017, Guy Monty and Pablo Jost found a Loggerhead Shrike at Hope Slide Rest Area, which is located off Hwy 3 near Hope. The bird was in a cottonwood tree downhill from the restrooms. They photographed the bird and watched it for 10 mins. It was still present when they left.

Map to location HERE

The bird has not been relocated since the initial sighting.

Loggerhead Shrike at Hope Slide - Photo: Guy Monty

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

PURPLE SANDPIPER Still off Victoria - April 17th-25th

On April 17th, Daniel Donnecke kayaked out to the Trial Islands off Victoria and found the Purple Sandpiper mixed among Black Turnstones.  This sighting comes exactly two months after the last report of the bird viewed on Little Trial Island by scoping from the Victoria shoreline.  Daniel's eBird checklist, including six photos of the Purple Sandpiper, can be viewed here.

It was hoped that a sighting this late in the spring would allow us to see some alternate feathers filling in, but instead the plumage is still drab and further worn.  Hopefully this bird will continue to be sighted and the birding community can document feathers molting in.

The bird continues in basic plumage on Kitty Islat as of April 25th and was last seen by Paul Lehman et al.

Please see previous post HERE on this bird for maps and location information.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

RBA: WHITE-TAILED KITE in Metchosin - April 11th

At just after 9:30 am on the morning of April 11th, a White-tailed Kite was observed by David Allinson flying over the Sea Bluff Trail in Metchosin on southern Vancouver Island.  The Sea Bluff Trail is located just south of Witty's Lagoon and can be accessed at the north end off Wootton Rd or the south end off Parry Cross Rd.  The bird was flying over the treetops, so nearby open areas should be checked.  There are many agricultural fields in the area, but good candidate locations include: Swanwick Rd, Taylor Rd, the corner of Happy Valley and Rocky Point Rds, Pears Rd, Witty's Lagoon, Lindholm Rd (just west of Happy Valley Rd) and various fields along Metchosin Rd.  Additionally, scanning from Weir's Beach south towards William Head might be a worthwhile endeavour.

Immaculate record shots are not always an option, but this still works (Photo: David Allinson)

As of April 17, there have been no further reports of this bird, despite some effort to relocate it.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

RBA: TUFTED DUCK in Richmond - April 9-14th

At 7:50am on April 9th, 2017, an adult male Tufted Duck, first reported by Jim Palmer, was found in the SE inner pond at Iona Island Regional Park. Multiple observers saw the bird into the afternoon. To gain access to the inner ponds, please contact Jude Grass at for the code needed to unlock the gates. The park is located at 945 Ferguson Road in Richmond, and it is open from 7am until 8pm. 

The bird was still present in the SE inner pond on April 10th, 11th, and 14th. The bird appears to move between the ocean and the inner ponds, and on April 13th it was with a scaup flock on the ocean south of the South Jetty.

Photo: Mike Fung

Saturday, April 8, 2017

BLACK PHOEBE at Maber Flats near Brentwood Bay - April 8-15th

At around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 a Black Phoebe was at Maber Flats near Brentwood Bay on southern Vancouver Island.  The bird was located at the east end of the central dikes - walking the southern of the two dikes is the best option to end up closest to the bird.  The bird was seen on the closest fence line, which is approximately 200 metres away.  There is a cottonwood tree in the field with a wooden telephone pole in front to the left, and the phoebe was seen on a fence line in front and to the left of the telephone pole.  The bird has been sighted with regularity from Highfield Rd recently, although some have had luck at the end of Meadowbank Rd.  The bird was originally found by Jeremy Gatten and has already been seen by multiple observers and record photos have been obtained.

The Black Phoebe was present as of Saturday (April 15) in the same area.  The bird moves around, so patience, constant scanning, and listening for its call will help in tracking it down.

This is the 20th record for the province of BC.

If only are rarities were so distinct - picture perfect Black Phoebe (Photo: Jody Wells)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

RBA: TUFTED DUCK in Squamish - April 6th

At 10 am on April 6th-2017, Chris Dale and Chris Murrell found an adult male Tufted Duck at the Squamish River Estuary. The bird was 200m out in the Central Channel of the Estuary with a flock of 40-50 Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked Ducks, halfway between the end of “The Spit” which is Squamish River Spit Rd and the Squamish Terminals Deep Sea Port.

The bird was viewed by multiple observers and was last seen in the same location as of 3pm. The Tufted Duck could not be relocated on April 7, and approximately only half of the scaups present the day before remained.

Map to exact location HERE

A video of the bird taken by Chris Dale can be viewed HERE

This is a first record for the Squamish-Lillooet region.

Photo: Chris Dale