Wednesday, April 27, 2016

RBA: White-cheeked Starling in Tofino - April 27-29th

On the morning of April 27th, 2016  at 7:30am Adrian Dorst found and photographed a White-cheeked Starling in Tofino as it fed on the second fairway at the Long Beach Golf Course. This bird could be ship assisted or an escapee. This would be the first ABA record if accepted. There is one other record from 1998 in Homer, Alaska but it was rejected due to provenance. The bird was seen by multiple observers on April 28th and 29th in the same location.

There are specific rules in place to view this bird. Birders are welcome early in the morning before the golfers arrive but must be out by 8:30am. When parking at the Golf Course please do not block any gates. Please stay off the green entirely when looking for or viewing this bird. Patience is key with this bird and it is best for one to stay in one place and wait until the bird appears. Please be respectful of these rules as the Golf Course management is generously opening it up to birders.

Evenings may be a possibility but only with a guide  and Wednesday and Thursday evenings are exempt.

The location for the Long Beach Golf Course is 1850 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino.

Photos: Adrian Dorst

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

RBA: LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE in Creston - April 5th

On the morning of April 5th - 2016, Marc-Andre Beaucher found an adult Loggerhead Shrike as it perched on a Hawthorn bush along the South West Dyke at Duck Lake in Creston. The bird was relocated by Craig Sandvig around 6:30pm on the same day. The bird was last seen in the hawthorns south of the campsite. The campsite is located at the West end of the Duck Lake dyke.

Photo: Craig Sandvig
Loggerhead Shrike perched to the left of Northern Shrike below. Photo: Marc-Andre Beaucher

Saturday, February 6, 2016

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

Update: 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.

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.

Taken at Cardero at Beach Ave by David Baker
Taken at Spanish Banks Off-Leash Dog Park by Brian Stech

Taken at Musqueam Golf Course by Bridget Spencer

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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

Update: The Two BHGU's found in Monroe, WA on Feb 1st and Feb 3rd are not the same individual as the one found in Vancouver from Jan 25-31st.

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.

Photo: Liron Gertsman
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

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

Above Photos by : Gregg Thompson
Photo: Peter Candido

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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

Request: Please continue to report sightings of the Accentor as there is still interest in seeing this bird.

At Noon on Jan 6th, George Clulow (who was birding with 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 HERE
A 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.

Update: The accentor continues through Jan 20th. 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.

Photo taken on Jan 13th by Brian Stech

Photo: Raymond Ng

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

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

Update: 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