Monday, December 27, 2010

RBA: ACORN WOODPECKER!!! (Dec 27-Feb 5)


[top photo: J and M Ramsay]

From Stan Olson:

"Mid morning today on the Abbotsford-Mission Christmas Bird Count, I found an Acorn Woodpecker in the small village of Matsqui, in a rural area of Abbotsford near the Fraser River. I have posted a photo in Stan's Photos in the Photos section. It's digiscoped so the quality is poor, sorry, but should be sufficient for identification. It appears to be a female. I didn't hear any vocalization from this bird in the 10 minutes we were observing it, but it showed the undulating flight of a woodpecker on several occasions.

Directions to the location:
Take Hwy 1 to the Sumas exit in Abbotsford, and follow Hwy 11 north toward Mission for several miles to the traffic light at Harris Rd (56th Ave). Turn left here, onto Harris Rd. One block later turn right on Riverside Rd (traffic light), and follow Riverside Rd for about 4 blocks through Matsqui village. Turn right on Fore Rd, a gravel lane just before a small slough bordering a small community park. Fore Rd dead-ends at the railway. Looking left (north) from this point there is a row of cottonwoods growing along the west side of the RR grade. The bird was perched in one of these cottonwoods. It also flew across the RR to a grove of hazelnut trees, and back into the cottonwoods, where it moved around to various trees. The cottonwoods are also visible from the above mentioned park. There is a parking lot there. Walk further to the back fence, and across the slough you see the row of cottonwood trees.

If you wish, you can take a short cut from the west. Exit Hwy 1 at 264th and follow 56th Ave east (Harris Rd) to the above mentioned corner of Harris Rd and Riverside Rd, turn left and go to Fore Rd.

From Hwy 7, exit in Mission onto Hwy 11 toward Abbotsford. Immediately at the end of the bridge over the Fraser River, exit off Hwy 11. You are now on Riverside Rd. Shortly you will see the small park on your left, and Fore Rd just past it.

Be aware: this is an active rail line so use caution. Also be aware that while you can turn east off Hwy 11 northbound onto another part of Fore Rd, there is no access from Hwy 11 to this portion of Fore Rd. You can only get to it from Riverside Rd.

Good luck to anyone trying for this bird.

Stan Olson
Abbotsford, BC"

**Check for updates in the comments below!

Monday, December 20, 2010

KITTLITZ'S MURRELET on Sunshine Coast

"Anyone in the vicinity of Bonniebrook (north-westerly 1/2) should be keeping their eyes open for a probable/possible to be confirmed Kittlitz's Murrelet which I saw late on the CBC but was not present the next day(Sunday), although there were no murrelets at all when I visited around 1130 am Sunday. This bird was seen for a short time in the scope with 2 MAMU's and fit all the descriptions of size,unique facial pattern, bill size, colour etc. Seen about 500 metres offshore and actively feeding with the MAMU's. Rare sighting CBC form to be reviewed so stay posted." (Rand Rudland)

---Watch for updates on this site and on the Sunshine Coast yahoo group

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lesser Black-backed Gull returns for another year

The long-wintering LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL has returned to the Central Okanagan. On Nov 21 it was observed by R. Cannings, A.Bartels, and I.Povalyaev loafing around with 6 other species of gulls (including 1 ad. MEW GULL) at Maude Roxby Sanctuary in Kelowna. This location is at the foot of Francis Ave (off Pandosy St). Most gulls in Kelowna cycle between Maude Roxby and the Glenmore landfill. You can check for it at the dump or find it by checking Maude Roxby frequently, especially in the afternoon when the gulls come to bathe before heading off to roost south of Kelowna.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NORTHERN PARULA in Oliver, BC!


[photo: Jess Findlay]
Inkaneep Provincial Park, Oliver, BC-->
The imm. male Northern Parula originally found by Don Cecile on November 7th, was still present as of Saturday (Nov 18th). There have been no subsequent sightings.

**Watch comments (below) for updates.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

LITTLE BLUE HERON in West Kelowna!


[photo credit: Jukka Jantunen]

The juvenile LITTLE BLUE HERON discovered on Thursday in West Kelowna, November 11th was still present on Saturday, November 13th. It seems to move around quite a bit-- mostly seen at the mouth of Powers Creek on Gellatly Road, it has also been found as far north as Pritchard Park to the north (at the end of Pritchard Rd off Boucherie Rd), and off some of the beach accesses to the south off Whitworth Rd. It is fairly tame but please give it some space to it can feel comfortable feeding etc. When at the mouth of the creek it can be easy to overlook when roosting with the gulls as it is a "small white object!"

This is BC's third record of Little Blue Heron, and only the second one that has been photo-documented. First-record for the Okanagan Valley!

**Watch comments (below) for updates.

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER AND BRAMBLING IN n Haida Gwaii

For full details, check out my big year blog at: bcbigyear.blogspot.com

Feature birds include: CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, BRAMBLING, and GRASSHOPPER SPARROW.

Photo credit: Jukka Jantunen

Northern Mockingbird in Chilliwack

The Northern Mockingbird found over a week ago at Island 22 Regional Park in Chilliwack continues in the vicinity of the boat-launch. Take Young Road (exit off Trans Canada) north all the way to the Fraser and Island 22 is well signed on the left. Park outside the park or drive in ($5 parking fee), the boat-launch area is obvious and although the bird moves around a lot, it should be easy to find.

Western Scrub-Jay Invasion!


This fall has been quite the season for WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS. Although there are (or at least used to be) less than 30 records of the species for the province, there have been at least 9 reports from the Lower Mainland this year including the long-staying bird in Maple Ridge and the recently reliable bird at Terra Nova Park in Richmond.