Tuesday, March 13, 2018

RBA: KING EIDER in Qualicum Beach - March 12-April 2nd

At 2:15pm on March 12, 2018, Neil Robins and John Purves found an adult male King Eider in breeding plumage. The bird was in a large raft of scoters near to Bluffs Drive in the Eaglecrest Area of Qualicum Beach. They viewed the bird for an hour by scope. They were unable to photograph the bird due to distance.

The bird was relocated by Guy Monty et al. on March 13th at the end of Whitmee Rd and is being viewed as of 6:30pm. A scope is required. From March 18th to 22nd, the eider was relocated further north at the Little Qualicum Estuary and could be viewed from the beach access at the east end of Surfside Dr. The bird was seen on March 23rd from the end of Buller Rd, which is just south of the previous location - a map of the location can be viewed HERE.

The bird was seen at the original location at the end of Whitmee Rd on March  26, 2018.

*On April 2nd the bird continued at the end of Seacrest Place in Qualicum Beach.*

This is the 37th record for the province of British Columbia.

King Eider in Qualicum Beach - Photo: Blair Dudeck

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

RBA: BROWN THRASHER in Elko - Jan 2-March 19th

On Jan 2-2018, Brad Eckersley first saw a Brown Thrasher visiting his property on Yarrow Rd. The bird was present for a month and a half but was not identified. On Feb 11-2018, Bob Livsey found the bird at Brad's feeder and identified it as a Brown Thrasher. It was only present at the feeder for about 6 seconds. It was seen again briefly on Feb 12th at the same location and was singing. Appearances have been too brief for any photo opportunities.

The bird can now be viewed from the public location of  Main St and Yarrow Ave. 

This is the 40th record for the province of BC.

This is the second Brown Thrasher in the province at the same time. The other bird is in Cranbrook and details can be found HERE.

The bird has not been seen since March 19th, 2018.

Monday, January 29, 2018

RBA: BROWN BOOBY in Victoria - Jan 29th-Feb 3rd

An apparent injured adult Brown Booby was found at 1pm on January 29/2018 at Ogden Point in Victoria. The bird was photographed by Ashley Olender who didn't realize what it was. June Elaine Pigeon found the bird at the same site later in the afternoon and noticed it was immobile and shivering and called the SPCA. The bird was then transported to SPCA's Wild ARC rehab facility.

A photo of the bird can be viewed HERE

Sadly, despite best efforts, this bird died on Feb 3rd at Wild Arc.

Thank you to Wild Arc and especially to June Pigeon for aiding this bird as best as they could.

You can read more about this sad story HERE.

This is the 15th record for the province of BC.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

RBA: LESSER GOLDFINCH in Victoria - Dec 11/17-Jan 7/18

Update: This bird was first photographed by Susan Harper at her home on December 11/2017. However, at the time she didn't realize it was a Lesser Goldfinch.

At 11:50am on December 24-2017, while viewing  a previously reported Tennessee Warbler, Nathan Hentze found a female Lesser Goldfinch. The bird was feeding in the backyard of Susan Harper's home at 820 Rogers Court. However, the Lesser Goldfinch is best viewed by looking at the feeders in the backyard from Rogers Way. It was also seen directly across the street at 840 Rogers Way. The bird was viewed by multiple observers all afternoon and photographed.

Please do not trespass on home owner's property and be respectful of other residents in the area.

This is the 22nd record for the province of BC.
The bird has not been relocated since January 7th/2018, despite multiple observers looking.

Female Lesser Goldfinch in Victoria, Dec 24/17  - Photo: Gordon Hart
Female Lesser Goldfinch in Victoria, Dec 24/17 - Photo: Marie O'Shaughnessy

Monday, December 11, 2017

RBA: BROWN BOOBY off the West Coast of Vancouver Island - Dec 5th

Greg Petri had an adult Brown Booby land on his fishing vessel in pelagic waters, west of the Brooks Peninsula on December 5th-2017. The bird rode on the boat for quite some time before flying off to sea.

This is the 14th record for the province of BC.

Brown Booby on the West Coast of Vancouver Island - Photo: Greg Petri

Saturday, December 9, 2017

RBA: BROWN THRASHER in Cranbrook - Dec 9/17-April 19/18

At 1:45 pm on Dec 9th-2017, Ryan Tomlinson found a Brown Thrasher in Joseph Creek. This location is directly across from Greg Ross and Katrin Powell's home; who have a Northern Cardinal visiting their yard since Nov 7th at 213 17th Ave N.

Map to location of bird HERE

At 2:45pm the bird was relocated in the same location by Chris Charlesworth and photographed.

The bird was not relocated on Dec 10th, despite multiple observers looking.

On December 26th, bird was relocated in Greg Ross's Yard at 213, 17th Ave N.

The bird was last seen at the above location on Dec 29th, 2017.

On Jan 1, 2018 Wendy Norris Roberts relocated the Brown Thrasher in her yard on 11th Ave S in Cranbrook.

The bird continues in the same location on 11th Ave S as of March 5, 2018. Please view the bird from the street only and do not trespass. Please be respectful of neighbors and private property. The address is withheld per request. Contact the RBA if you plan to go searching for this bird.

This is the 39th record for the province of BC.

The bird was seen in the yard of a private home on 13th Ave S on March 18, 2018.

*The bird was last seen at 11 Ave S as of April 20, 2018.  Contact the RBA for viewing access.*

Brown Thrasher in Cranbrook. Jan 31, 2018. Photo: Greg Ross

Brown Thrasher in Cranbrook. Feb 19, 2018. Photo: Wendy Norris Roberts

RBA: SUMMMER TANAGER in Vancouver - Dec 9/17-April 20/18

At 8:25am on Dec 9th-2017, Wendy Kahle found an immature male Summer Tanager (red feathers appear on the bird's face and back) at her home near W 71st Ave in Vancouver. The bird has a bill deformity but is coming to her suet feeder on her patio in her backyard. The bird can be viewed from the public lane (Avery Ave), behind the property. It may also be possible to view it from the Arbutus greenway. Please do not trespass on her property or in the townhouse complex. Please be respectful of private property.

Map to where to stand to view her patio feeder HERE.

The bird has not been seen since April 20th.

This is the 6th record for the province of BC and 1st for Metro Vancouver.

This bird has received a lot of media attention and you can read/watch news stories on it HERE, HEREHERE , HERE and HERE.

Imm. Male Summer Tanager with bill deformity in Vancouver - Photo: Liron Gertsman
Imm. Male Summer Tanager with bill deformity in Vancouver - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

RBA: Another Male KING EIDER in Vancouver - Dec 4-16th

At 3pm on Dec 4th-2017, Peter Woods found a male King Eider at Stanley Park in Vancouver. The bird was near to shore allowing for close views. It was between the north end of English Bay and the Second Beach swimming pool. It was viewed from the seawall off Stanley Park Drive in a small Surf Scoter flock until 4:20pm, when it became dark and the observer left.

A map to exact location HERE

At 8:10 am on Dec 5th-2017 it was viewed by multiple observers at the same time that the male King Eider was being viewed in Berth 5 in Tsawwassen. To read about the Delta bird click HERE.

The Vancouver male King Eider was relocated with six Surf Scoters off the north end of English Bay off the seawall at Beach Ave, near the Sylvia Hotel.

A map to exact location HERE.

At 8am on Dec 6th the Eider was relocated with a large flock of Surf Scoters about 150m off the parking lot, just north of the 2nd beach swimming pool.

At 1:10pm on Dec 7th, the King Eider was seen near the SeaBus terminal at Waterfront Station in a large raft of Surf scoters. It was still present as of 3:30pm.

At 1:30pm on Dec 8th, the bird continues as viewed from the Seabus near the tip of Canada Place.

On Dec 9th, 10:30am the bird continues at Canada Place.

Map to Canada Place location HERE.

The bird was not relocated on Dec 10th or 11th, despite multiple observers looking.

At 11:50am on Dec 16th, the bird was relocated just off Canada Place near the blue drop sculpture, with a flock of Surf Scoters and one female Long-tailed Duck. It has not been relocated since.

** An aside: On Dec 2nd-2017, Ryan Terrill reported seeing a bird that he thought was "undoubtedly a Female King Eider" offshore from the "Star Princess" cruise ship between UBC and Lighthouse Park. His description fit a female Eider and it was last seen flying north with a Surf Scoter flock towards Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. However, due to distance and unidentifiable photos, other Eider species could not be ruled out. Therefore, that record had to be left unconfirmed. There are now 3 potential King Eiders in Vancouver.

If this male King Eider in Vancouver is in fact a second individual, it would represent the 36th record for the province of BC.

Male King Eider in Vancouver - Photo: Peter Woods

Friday, November 17, 2017

RBA: LITTLE GULL in Penticton - Nov 17-18th

At 9am on November 17-2017, Chris Charlesworth and Jesse Hannebauer found a First-winter Little Gull in Penticton. The bird is actively feeding 150m offshore off of Lakeshore Drive W, between the "Peach" on the beach and the "SS Sicamous" Boat on Okanagan Lake in Penticton. Photographs were obtained.

Map to location HERE

The Gull continues as of 4:30pm on Nov 18th. It is staying mostly off the end of the old Lakeshore Hotel and Casino Pier and has been viewed by multiple observers. The bird is best viewed with a scope.

Map to location of pier and Gull HERE

One observer reported seeing the gull at 8:30am but despite multiple observers looking, it has not been relocated by anyone else on Nov 19th or 20th.

This is the 98th record for the province of BC and the first record for the Okanagan.

Imm. Little Gull. Penticton, BC. Nov 17, 2017. Photo: Don Cecile.
Imm. Little Gull. Penticton, BC. Nov 17, 2017. Photo: Don Cecile.
Imm. Little Gull. Penticton, BC. Nov 17, 2017. Photo: Don Cecile.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

RBA: NORTHERN CARDINAL in Cranbrook - Nov 7/17- Feb 27/18

UPDATE: This bird was accepted by the BC Bird Records Committee in December 2017. It is the FIRST confirmed record for the province of British Columbia.

A female Northern Cardinal was found by Katrin Powell and Greg Ross at 9:50am on November 7th-2017. The bird was in the front yard of their home at 213-17th Ave N., as it visited her feeder with black-oil sunflower seeds. It was present for 40 mins.

Provenance was considered, as cardinals are kept as cage birds in some areas. However, they have been reported in Alberta and confirmed by the Alberta Bird Records Committee as vagrants. Northern Cardinals have also bred successfully in Alberta and the first confirmed breeding record there was 2009. BC has a hypothetical record from Prince George in 1994 that was never confirmed and a carcass of one was found in March 2014 in Nanaimo.

The time of year and the part of the province where it showed up bodes well for a vagrant. Also, this is the time of year (late fall/winter) when many eastern vagrants show up out west. The other thing that lent credence for the bird being of wild origin is that it is a female. Most (but not all) caged birds from collectors (not breeders) are male.

The public is allowed to look at the bird as it visits the feeder in the yard from the sidewalk. Please respect other homeowners in the area by not blocking driveways and not pointing binoculars at homes. Please do not trespass on the homeowner's property or yard. 

The bird has been viewed by multiple observers coming to the feeder at their yard. It has also been seen across the street, sitting in the brush adjacent to Joseph Creek.

*On Dec 5th a Hoary Redpoll was found by Danny Tyson in the same yard. The bird is still present as of Dec 7th as well.*

The Northern Cardinal was last seen in the same location on Dec 8th.

The bird was not relocated on Dec 9th or 10th, despite multiple observers looking.

The bird was relocated on Dec 20th in a flock of Common Redpolls, at a feeder at Lorraine Schmidt's home in the 200 block of 13th Ave S.  Please view the feeders from the back lane. The homeowner doesn't want the address published online but contact the RBA for the address, if you plan to go searching for it.

The bird has not been seen since Feb 27/18.

CBC radio did an interview with Katrin Powell (homeowner who found the bird) and you can listen to it HERE (starts at 33:55).

You can also read a newspaper article about this bird from the "Cranbrook Daily Townsman" HERE.

Female Northern Cardinal in Cranbrook - Photo: Michael Klotz
Female Northern Cardinal in Cranbrook - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev