Thursday, March 23, 2017

RBA: INDIGO BUNTING in Port Alberni - March 23rd

At 2pm on March 22nd-2017, Sandy McRuer found a First-cyle male Indigo Bunting at a private home at 4950 Nicholas St (near the corner of Pineo St). The bird was relocated at 11:45 am on March 23rd by Penny Hall and photographed at the same location. The bird returned to the wide silo feeder, 3 times while she was visiting.  

Multiple observers saw the bird today and it was last seen at the same location at 4:15pm .

The homeowner is ok with people viewing the bird and feeder from the public road, as the feeders are about 10 feet from the road. If you go, please be respectful of the homeowner's property and private residences in the area. Please do not block any driveways when you park to view this bird.

Map to Location: HERE

First-cycle Male Indigo Bunting in Port Alberni - Photo: Penny Hall



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

RBA: TUFTED DUCK in Vancouver - March 14-19th

At 5:15pm on March 14th, Daphne Lang found a 2nd Year adult male Tufted Duck with Lesser Scaup on the swimming pool at New Brighton Park in Vancouver. She was unable to obtain a photograph at this time. The bird was relocated at 9:35 am on March 15th by Mike Tabak and photographed. The swimming pool is under-construction and the birds are using it undisturbed.

New Brighton Park is located at 3201 New Brighton Rd in Vancouver. 

Map to location HERE

This is a different bird than the one seen this year at Iona.

The bird continues in the same location as of March 19th.

The bird was not seen on March 20-21st.

2nd Year Male Tufted Duck - Photo: Brian Stech
2nd Year Male Tufted Duck - Photo: Mike Tabak



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

RBA: SAGEBRUSH SPARROW in Osoyoos - Feb 21st

On the morning of Feb 21-2017, Doug Brown found a singing Sagebrush Sparrow on the Osoyoos Canal Trail. The bird gave good views as it responded to playback. The bird was just north of 74th Street near the first access after the parking lot near Osoyoos Secondary School.

Map to location: HERE

This is one of several birds that Doug Brown has found in the area at this time of year. Doug believes that these birds are probably annual in Osoyoos but they're very early migrants. Due to this fact, the area of sagebrush habitat they prefer, is not widely covered by birders since it is almost completely devoid of birds at this time of year.

Despite multiple observers looking on Feb 22nd and 23rd there has been no sign of the bird.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

RBA: REDWING in Victoria - Feb 11-March 20th

At 12:15pm Jeremy Gatten found a Redwing in the holly tree in the lane behind the condos at 3957 South Valley Drive. The bird is singing as well indicating it's a male. This is most likely the same bird that was present at this location on Dec. 16, 2013 and from  Dec 19th, 2015 to April 14th, 2016. Multiple observers got to see the bird and it was photographed.

Map to location HERE

It is usually seen in the holly tree, opposite to condo #2, in the lane behind 3957 S Valley Drive.

The bird continues in the same location as of March 20th.

Please be respectful of the homeowners in the area, as the bird is down a narrow lane.

This is the third record for the province of British Columbia and an ABA Code 4 bird.

This year the bird is far more cooperative for photos and singing - Photo: Lee Barlow
This beautiful Redwing has returned to the same spot for 3 years! - Photo: Mark Wynja



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

RBA: SLATY-BACKED GULL in Nanaimo - Feb 7-21st

At 12:45pm on February 7th-2017, Blair Dudeck found and photographed an adult Slaty-backed Gull at the Nanaimo River Estuary. The bird was in a mixed Gull flock along the river near the parking lot on Raines Rd.

At 12:15pm on Feb 8th, the bird was relocated in the same location by Guy Monty. The bird appeared to fly in from the direction of the landfill. The bird was viewed by multiple observers and then flew at 1:15pm.  The gull was lost in flight and no one was able to see which direction it went.

At 8:25am on Feb 9th, the bird was viewed by Garrett Beisel in the same location.

The gull continues in the same location as of Feb 13-19th

Please be respectful of the First Nations Reserve in the area as Raines Road runs through the Snuneymuxw First Nations Reserve. People should NOT bird along Raines Rd in front of the houses, or stop there. This bird can be viewed from the parking lot at the end of Raines Rd, which is outside of the Reserve, and is public property.

Map to location: HERE

On Feb 18th, Guy Monty relocated the Slaty-backed Gull at the Landfill on Cedar Rd. Located at 1105 Cedar Road.

Map to location: HERE

On Feb 19th, the bird was relocated once again back at the Nanaimo River Estuary. It was viewed by scope off the end of Raines Rd. 

On Feb 20-21st the bird was seen back again at the Landfill on Cedar Rd.

This is the second Slaty-backed Gull in the province, during the 2016/2017 winter season.

The bird has not been seen since Feb 21st,

Adult Slaty-backed Gull - Photos: Jeremy Gatten


Sunday, January 22, 2017

RBA: PINK-FOOTED GEESE in Saanich and Duncan - Jan 18-March 19th

At 1:30pm on January 22-2017, Liron Gerstman, who is 16 years old, found 2 Pink-footed Geese (1 adult and 1 in formative plumage) in a flock of 200 Dusky Canada Geese. The birds were in a grassy field on the east side of the path. Access to the field is on Lochside Dr. north of Dooley Rd. Multiple observers saw and photographed the birds in the same location as of 4:45pm.

It discovered today that on January 18th, John Peetsma photographed 2 Pink-footed Geese in the same location. However, at the time they were identified as Greater-white Fronted Geese.

Map to location on Lochside Dr, north of Dooley Rd is HERE

At 8:10am on January 23rd, the birds were seen in a mixed flock of 500 Canada Geese on the south side of Martindale Rd. The birds were still present as of 5pm.

The birds continue in the same field and in the field off Dooley Rd, as of January 26th.

On Jan 27th the birds continue in the original field (see above map)

Map to location on Martindale Rd is HERE

The birds were not seen on Jan 28-30th.

On the morning of Jan 31st, the bird was refound by Mike McGrenere in a field in a mixed goose flock off the Lochside Trail. The birds were viewed from the Blenkinsop Trestle. They were not present in the afternoon.

Map to location of Geese HERE

At 9:45 am on Feb 1st the geese were relocated back at the field south of Martindale Rd and continued there all day.

The birds continue in the same location as of Feb 2nd.

Map to location on Martindale Rd is HERE

On Feb 4th, the birds were relocated in the field north of St Margaret's School in Victoria. Please do not enter school grounds from Mon-Friday during school hours. At 3:15pm they flew from the school and were last seen iin the north field of Galey Farms at 4:15pm. Galey farm is located at 4150 Blenkinsop Rd in Victoria.

From 3-5:20pm on Feb 9th, the birds were once again relocated in the field north of St Margaret's School in Victoria. The school is located at 1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria. Please do not enter school grounds during school hours (Mon-Fri). The birds can also be viewed off the dead end of Beckwith Ave.

On Feb 10th, the birds were seen in a field on the west side of 4335 Blenkinsop Rd. The birds were 300 metres west of the road and allowed for good scope views.

On Feb 11-14th the birds were relocated in a field off the Lochside Trail south of Lohbrunner Rd where the trail goes from pavement to gravel.

Map to location HERE

On March 3rd, Darryl Johnston reported seeing the birds on Cherry Point Rd in Duncan. On March 4th, Derrick Marven reported seeing the birds this morning in the fields between Koksilah Rd and Wilmot Rd on the east side of the highway. The birds were flushed by a drone around 10:30 am and were later spotted at 11 am in Victoria. This would explain their absence in the Victoria area since Feb 14th.

On March 5th, Jason Kimm et al. relocated the Geese in a field on Cherry Point Rd near Cowichan Bay Rd.

Map to location HERE

The Geese were not relocated on March 6th.

On March 9th, Mike McGrenere relocated the Geese in a field North of and behind St. Margaret's School in Victoria. The school is located at 1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria. Please do not enter school grounds during school hours (Mon-Fri). The birds can be viewed by scope off Valewood Trail Rd at Valewood Park.

On March 10-12th, the Geese continued in a field with 10 Great White-fronted Geese off the east side of the the Lochside Trail. The birds were viewable from the north end of the Blenkinsop Trestle Bridge. They were last seen in a field to the west of Blenkinsop Lake near the northern most high voltage power line mast (where the power line changes direction).

The birds continue on March 18th in the fields north of Lohbrunner Rd at Blenkinsop Lake.

Map HERE

On March 19th, the birds were relocated in a field with Canada Geese off Island View Rd near McHugh Rd in Saanich.

The birds were not seen on March 20-21st.

Please be respectful of private farmland and do not walk in the fields. Please scope or view the birds from the path/road only.

If accepted as non-escapees, this would be a first record for the Province of British Columbia.

Halluces are present on both of these Pink-footed Geese - Photo: Jody Wells
One Formative and One Adult Pink-footed Goose in Saanich - Photo: Liron Gertsman



Saturday, January 7, 2017

RBA: LESSER GOLDFINCH in Abbotsford - January 7-16th

At 2:45pm on January 7th-2017, Chris Buis found a male Lesser Goldfinch at his Gazebo feeder at the SW corner of his hotel "The Brookside Inn" located at 2379 Chardonnay Lane in Abbotsford. The property is open to the public but please do not point binoculars or camera lenses at the hotel windows which could disturb hotel guests.  Also, please remember to keep your voices down when visiting the property. The bird is actively feeding at the gazebo feeder near the main door in the parking area. Best viewing is from the parking area.

Map to location HERE

The bird has not been seen since January 16th.

Photo: Nobert Sharp
Photo: Raymond Ng


Thursday, January 5, 2017

RBA: RED-THROATED PIPIT in Victoria - January 5-9th

At 11:30am on January 5-2017, Ann Nightingale saw and heard a Red-throated Pipit fly over calling three times at Martindale Flats. The bird was with a Killdeer and both were being pursued by a falcon. The bird flew from Michell Airpark towards cornfields that are north of Martindale Rd. At 4:30pm, Ann relocated the bird once again at Martindale Flats. The bird was in the stubble field just north of the Michell Airpark with American Pipits. She had it in the scope for 10 seconds before it headed into deeper grass. The bird was not photographed.

At 11:30am on January 6-2017, Randy Dzenkiw relocated the RTPI in the Northeast field at Martindale Rd and Lochside Dr.  Multiple observers got to view the bird up until 12:30pm. The bird was photographed.

Map to location HERE

At 12pm on January 7-2017, the bird was seen and heard calling by Guy Monty, as it landed in a field just past the Michell Airpark. It was not relocated after this sighting.

At 3:30pm on January 9th the bird was heard by Ann Nightingale as it flew towards Martindale Rd from Lochside Dr.

The bird was not seen since January 9th.

Photo: Randy Dzenkiw
 


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

RBA: PURPLE SANDPIPER in Victoria - Dec 30-Feb 17th

At 3:45pm on December 30th, 2016 - Jeremy Gatten found a 1st cycle Purple Sandpiper at Kitty Islet in Victoria. The bird was relocated on Dec 31st-2016 by Daniel Donnecke at the Victoria Golf Course and photographed. On January 2nd, 2017 the bird was refound once again at the original location at Kitty Islet. On January 3rd, 2017 the bird was seen once again at Kitty Islet by several observers throughout the day, where it fed on the rocks with various shorebirds. The bird was photographed in flight on Jan 2 and 3rd, which helped aid in identification. Photos of the wing shots that helped aid in the identification can be viewed on page 1 HERE

The same bird may have been photographed as early as September 29th-2016 on Trial Island by Marie O'Shaughnessy. She photographed a similar looking shorebird with orange legs and bill. She did not identify it as a Purple Sandpiper on this date. The same bird may also have been photographed once again by Geoffrey Newell at the Victoria Golf Course on November 28th-2016. He noted the bright and extensive orange colour on the legs and bill. At the time, the bird was not identified as a Purple Sandpiper.

The bird continued at Kitty Islet up until January 6th.

The bird was not seen on January 7th.

The bird was seen on the morning of January 8th at Kitty Islet but there were no subsequent sightings throughout the day.

The bird was seen at 7:35 am on January 10th at Kitty Islet.

The bird was seen from 9:45-10:20am on January 11th by multiple observers at Kitty Islet. The bird flew towards Trial Island and was not seen the rest of the day.

The bird was present for less than ten minutes at 9:30am on January 12th before flying off towards Trial Island.

At 4:15pm on January 14th, Chris Charlesworth and Ian Cruickshank relocated it on the NW end of Little Trial Island. The bird was viewed from McMicking Point. A scope was required.

At 12pm on January 17th, David Fraser viewed the bird on Little Trial Island through a scope from McMicking Point for ten mins before it flew out of sight.

At 1:15pm on January 20th, Sharon and Mike Toochin viewed the bird on Little Trial Island through a scope for 15 mins from McMicking Point. At 2:50pm the bird flew directly onto McMicking Point and remained there in close view until 3:25pm. The bird then flew to Kitty Islet, where it stayed in close range and viewable with binoculars until 4:15pm.

At 11:20 am on January 21st, the bird was seen at Kitty Islet, where it was viewable with binoculars. At 11:35 am it flew to Little Trial Island, where it was still present and viewable by scope as of 12:30pm.

The bird continued on Little Trial Island on Jan 23rd..

The bird continued on Kitty Islet on Jan 24-25th.

On Jan 28th, the bird was seen on Trial Island and on Little Trial Island. The bird was seen by multiple observers throughout the day (a scope is required).

The bird was not seen Jan 29-Feb 1st.

At 1:30pm on Feb 7th, the bird was seen by Val George at Kitty Islet for 10 mins before it flew to Trial Island.

The bird was present on Feb 17th at Little Trial Island.

*Note that at this point in time, the best viewing coincides with a low tide.*

Kitty Islet is located at 568 Beach Drive, Victoria, BC

Map to location HERE

This is the first record for British Columbia and the second record for the Pacific Coast in the ABA.

Photo: Melissa Hafting
Photo: Peter Candido



Sunday, January 1, 2017

RBA: TUFTED DUCK in Richmond - Jan 1-March 13th

At 10:30am on January 1st-2017, Ben Keen found an adult male Tufted Duck in the SE inner pond at Iona Regional Park. Multiple observers saw the bird after this in the NE and SE inner ponds and it was photographed. To gain access to the inner ponds a gate code is needed. Please contact Jude Grass at judegrass@shaw.ca to obtain the code. The park is located at 945 Ferguson Rd in Richmond and is open daily from 7am-5pm.

The bird was seen in the NE inner pond on Jan 2nd.

On January 10th, the bird was seen off the Iona causeway and throughout the day in the NE inner pond.

On January 13th, the bird was seen off the Iona causeway.

On January 14th, the bird was seen at 2:30pm off the Iona South Jetty by the first shelter.

On January 15th, the bird was seen off the Iona causeway, in the NE inner pond and by the 1st shelter on the south jetty in a Scaup flock.

On January 19-23rd, the bird was seen in the SE inner pond.

On March 4th, the bird was relocated by Peter Candido in the NW inner pond.

The bird continues in the NW inner pond as of March 13th.

Photos: Alberto Vilca