Cassin’s Casualties

I usually find interesting things washed up at the high tide line along Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve—fresh bull kelp is common, as are various types of shellfish and moulted dungeous crab shells. Sometimes the odd sand lance silvers in the sand, and once I found a dead seal. Birds are much more rare. A couple of …

An Occupation of Snow Geese

If you’re in or visiting the Lower Mainland over the next couple of months, make sure to make your way out to either Richmond or Ladner and take in the seasonal spectacle that is the wintering flocks of snow geese (Chen caerulescens). The word flock doesn’t really do justice to the sheer number of birds: gaggle is more appropriate to a …

Golden-crowned Kinglets!

Earlier this week I ran into a flock of close to twenty golden-crowned kinglets (Regulus satrapa) feeding in the hedgerow alongside a country road in rural Merville. With the thick fog of the last couple days, it seems that birds are hunkering down and feeding in large mixed flocks. There were a few song sparrows skulking on the edges of …

Totally Tubular Tube-noses

The semi-annual WildResearch pelagic trip out of Ucluelet is a spectacular way to see some impressive off-shore birds and this year’s fall trip was no exception. It was interesting to compare the birds with those seen on the spring pelagic trip out to La Pérouse Bank I did in 2012—there were some repeats but there several birds that were new life birds …

Wandering Tattler Tale

Halfmoon Bay is one of those spots in Pacific Rim National Park that is often overlooked by visitors with only a short amount of time. Access is via the 1.4 km long Willowbrae Trail—at the 1.3 point, just before it descends into Florencia Bay, the trail splits. The trail that leads off to the right runs through a stretch of …

Citrine Wagtail still in the Comox Valley!

Update: March 24, 2013 Last confirmed sighting of the Citrine Wagtail on eBird was Thursday, March 21. However, since that time, access to the farm lane has been restricted due to active farming and the lane is gated. Original Post I have to admit that during the dark days of January, 2013 I had written the citrine wagtail (Motacilla citreola) off. Originally …

Thinking about Wildlife Photography

If you haven’t been down to Boundary Bay yet this year, you might want to take a stroll on the dike between 64th Street and 72nd Street. It’s a decent walk and will give you plenty of time to think about wildlife photography and the ethical decisions that one makes as a bird photographer. You’ll see good behaviour and bad …

Downy Woodpecker Drops In

Having a backyard (or in this case, front yard) suet feeder is great for easy, coffee drinking (shade grown/bird friendly of course), birdwatching. Since we’ve finally gotten around to putting our feeders up, we can settle in to enjoy the show. Over the course of a week a flock of bushtits make regular appearances, chestnut-backed chickadees stop in, and a …

Boundary Bay Birding

Last weekend I went over to Vancouver with two other birders/photographers to “twitch” the red-flanked bluetail and brambling reported on British Columbia Bird Alert. Part of our plan was to spend the remainder of the day out looking for owls and other birds out at Boundary Bay. Large drift logs with root masses make for great places for lichen to …

Red-flanked Bluetail, Brambling, Lower Mainland Twitch

This weekend was the first chance that I was able to get over to the Lower Mainland to twitch the red-flanked bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) that was found by Colin McKenzie on January 13. Like the citrine wagtail, the red-flanked bluetail at Queens Park in New Westminster is a Canadian first. Since it seeing it involved a ferry crossing and navigating Vancouver …