Sunday, January 22, 2017

RBA: PINK-FOOTED GEESE in Saanich - Jan 18-24th

At 1:30pm on January 22-2017, Liron Gerstman, who is 16 years old, found 2 adult Pink-footed Geese 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 Jan 22nd 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 on January 24th.

Map to location on Jan 23-24th is HERE

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.

2 Pink-footed Geese in Saanich - Photos: Liron Gerstman

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.

Photos: Randy Dzenkiw

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

RBA: PURPLE SANDPIPER in Victoria - Dec 30-Jan 23rd

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 as of Jan 23rd.

*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 1-23rd

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 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.

Photos: Alberto Vilca

Thursday, December 29, 2016

RBA: RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL in Comox - December 22-Jan 14th

On December 22-2016, while doing the Comox CBC, Shane Tillapaugh found a Female type Red-flanked Bluetail at Lazo Wildlife Park. The bird was first found right beside the parking lot in the beginning of the row of trees on the right side of the parking lot. The ID was not confirmed at the time but several people looked for the bird since then.

On December 29-2016, the ID was confirmed when Guy Monty relocated the bird at 12:40pm. The bird was in the end of the same row of trees in some alders, that back onto agricultural land at Lazo Wildlife Park.

See map for exact location: HERE

Art Martell, Nathan Hentze, Mark Wynja and Dave Baird got on this bird shortly after. The bird was seen clearly but briefly for very short periods of time, with long instances of no one seeing it, between 12:40pm and 2pm. The bird was extremely skulky, stayed low to the ground and disappeared frequently. The bird was calling and it was last seen in the trees where it was originally found on December 22nd, near the parking lot.

See map for exact location: HERE

The bird then flew just before 2pm, into the forested area on the left hand side of the parking lot and was not relocated. The bird was not photographed.

This is the second record for British Columbia and Canada.

On December 30th-2016, the bird was seen in a willow tree that backs onto the agricultural field. The first sighting was at 3:50pm and the second was at 4:45pm. Both views were brief but clear. The bird was not photographed.

Map to the exact location of where the bird was seen on Dec 30th HERE

On December 31st-2016, the bird was seen 100m from the parking lot as it flew from a spruce tree on the forested side (left) of the park. The bird was heard by one observer at 12:40pm, 200m from the parking lot in the same area. At 1:40pm multiple observers got to see the bird in the hedgerow along the agricultural field, about 50 meters closer to the parking lot, from where it was seen on December 30th. It flew into a cedar tree near the parking lot and was briefly visible on the ground under the tree before it disappeared. The bird was heard calling again in the row of spruce trees. The bird was not photographed.

On Jan 1st-2017, multiple observers had good views of the RFBL from 12:20pm until 1:30pm. The bird was perched in the open in the same Willow it was seen in on Dec 30th and 31st. This willow is located down the embankment and backs onto the agricultural field (please see maps above). It called several times and then flew and perched in a salal berry bush by the service building near the parking lot and entrance. The bird was also seen feeding on the ground with Dark-eyed Juncos.

At 10-12pm on Jan 1st-2017, the RFBL showed well to the observers present. It  perched in the open in a cedar tree near the main parking lot and first bench. Good photos were finally obtained!

From 3:30-4pm on Jan 3-4th-2017,  the bird was visible to observers at the base of the alders at the end of the park (on the right hand side of the park, near the agricultural field) which is near the pond.

On January 5-2017, the bird was seen in the willow tree, hedgerow and along the fence on the private property that borders the agricultural field and park between 2:45-2:50pm as it flycatched. The bird allowed for good views and photographs.

On January 7th the bird was seen from 3:10-3:25pm, flycatching along the fence of the green private home that borders the agricultural field and park.

Map to location HERE

The bird continues in Lazo Wildlife Park as of January 8th. It was last seen at 11:50 am for 15 mins, as it flycatched under cedars to the right of the main path near the entrance of the park. It then flew to the fenced hedgerow that is down the embankment and then out of sight.

The bird continues in Lazo Wildlife Park as of January 10th.

The bird was seen at 3:20pm for ten minutes by multiple observers on January 11th. The bird was seen on January 12th.

The bird was last seen in Lazo Park on January 14th. 

Despite multiple observers searching, the bird has not been seen since January 14th.

A video of the bird can be viewed HERE

Directions: Drive all the way down Sand Pines Drive (not crescent) accessed off Lazo Rd and park at the parking lot where the road dead ends.

The address of Lazo Wildlife Park is 968 Sand Pines Drive, Comox, BC

Red-flanked Bluetail in Comox - Photos: George Bowron

Saturday, December 24, 2016

RBA: BLACK-HEADED GULL in Delta - Dec 24-Jan 21st

At 9:45am on December 24th-2016, Ilya Povalyaev found a 1st year Black-headed Gull in a flock of Mew Gulls, at the south end of the turf farm on 72nd St.

The gull was still present as of 4pm, close to the road and viewed by multiple observers with binoculars. Several people photographed the bird today, as it fed on earthworms.

This is the 3rd Black-headed Gull in the province of BC this year.

At 10:30am on December 25-2016, Ken Klimko relocated the bird at the SE corner of the turf farm. The bird was only 30 m from the road and viewable with binoculars. At 3pm on December 25-2016, the bird was last seen in the same location by Douglas Bamford.

The bird was not seen on December 26th.

At 12pm on December 27-2016, the bird was seen once again at the south end of the turf farm.

At 11:20am on December 30-2016, the bird was seen once again at the south send of the turf farm.

At 1pm on January 1-2017, the bird was seen once again at the south send of the turf farm.

At 12pm on January 2-2017, the bird was seen once again at the south send of the turf farm.

The bird continues at the south end of the turf farm as of January 21st.

Map to location  HERE

1st winter BHGU in Delta - Photos above : Raymond Ng
1st winter BHGU in flight in Delta - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

RBA: LESSER GOLDFINCH in Merritt - December 18-Jan 3rd

On December 18th-2016, during the Merritt CBC, Liis Jeffries found a male Lesser Goldfinch at a seed feeder and nearby birch tree with a flock of American Goldfinches at a private residence at 1721 Hill Street off Lindley Creek Rd. This feeder is located opposite to "Jackson's Welding"and easily viewable from the Rd. Liis was leading the CBC group and several observers got to see the bird.

The bird was seen again at 11:45am on December 21st-2016, by Alan Burger in the same location.This time it was by itself without the American Goldfinch flock and he was able to get some photos.

The bird was seen at 9:30am on December 22nd in the same location by Chris Charlesworth and at a nearby private home feeder on Dec 23rd.

At 11:25am on December 27th, the bird was last seen at Murphy Shewchuk's bird feeder at his private home on the south side of Merritt.

At 2pm on December 28th, the bird was seen at the original location 1721 Hill Street. It was feeding on the catkins of a birch tree in the front yard.

On Jan 1-3, 2017 the bird was seen in Murphy Shewchuk's yard.

When attempting to view this bird please stay off private property and view the bird and feeder from the street. Please be respectful of the private residence.

The bird has not been seen since January 3rd.

Male Lesser Goldfinch in Merritt - Photos: Alan Burger

Sunday, December 11, 2016

RBA: BRAMBLING in Port Alberni - December 3-5th

On December 3-2016, Daryl Henderson and Annette Bailey found a Brambling at their home on 7th Avenue, near China Creek Rd in Port Alberni. Over the days that the bird was present, it would only appear for a few minutes at a time. They have not seen the bird since December 5th, when Daryl took the photos.  The bird was always associating with Dark-eyed Juncos and 3 White-throated Sparrows. If the bird returns, the homeowner will be fine with people coming to look for it, as long as people let him know in advance. However, it has not been seen since December 5th. If the Brambling returns, I will update on how the homeowner will like to arrange visitation.

Photo: Daryl Henderson

Friday, December 9, 2016

RBA: HOODED ORIOLE in Surrey - Dec 9th-11th

On December 9th-2016, Andy George observed an adult male Hooded Oriole coming to feed at his backyard hummingbird feeder near 120th St and 96th Ave in Surrey. The bird was present all day and he was able to get some photos through his window.

The bird returned on the morning of December 10th and was present on Dec 11th.

The home is not open for public viewing.

Photos: Andy George