Port Alberni CBC – December 30, 2012

The Christmas Bird Count season on Vancouver Island is pretty much wrapped up and it’s nearly time to put away the heavy duty rain gear and focus on better weather birding when one isn’t “required” to go out and count birds. This weekend I joined the crew out at Port Alberni for their annual Christmas Bird Count. Those of you …

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Harris’s Sparrow, Brown Pelican – Twitch

OK – I’m not a hardcore lister by any stretch of the imagination (I’ve finally just broken 200 on my restarted BC list) but sometimes unexpected birds are a good excuse for a road trip. I’ve been fortunate that the extremely rare citrine wagtail is a mere five minutes away from my house, and perhaps adding that bird to my …

Citrine Wagtail in Comox – Saturday, December 1, 2012

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. Update: March 6, 2013 Checked the original farm site on Wednesday, March 6 with Viktor Davare and had a really nice look at the …

Citrine Wagtail – Mega Twitch Dip Tick

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. Update: March 6, 2013 Checked the original farm site on Wednesday, March 6 with Viktor Davare and had a really nice look at the …

West Mabou Beach Birding

One of the highlights of our trip to Nova Scotia has been the ocean swimming. We swim regularly at Miracle Beach Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, but the water is nowhere as warm as the sandy beaches on the west side of Cape Breton Island. While the swimming has been spectacular at every beach we’ve visited so far, the beach …

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds!

Since arriving in Nova Scotia, we’ve  been enjoying the show out on the deck of the family home in South West Margaree. It is hard to get an exact count because they’re constantly moving, but I think that there’s close to 30 ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) visiting the feeders. A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) perched in the raspberry canes. …

Where’s That Gray Catbird?

I was at work when Jocie called to report that her mother B. had found a gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) down at Seaview Game Farm in Black Creek, on Vancouver Island. B. had heard the call of the catbird but hadn’t been able to see it—however, she did recognize it as being unusual and suspected that it might be a …

Honeysuckle and the Hummingbird

If you’ve got honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.) growing in your backyard on Vancouver Island, you’re bound to have some rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) dropping in for a drink. The long, trumpet-like tube of the flower is perfectly suited for the hummingbird’s long slightly curved bill. Along the rural farm roads in Merville where I often take a lunch-time walk, I found …

Killdeer Cute!

The call of a killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is distinctive—once you hear it you’ll never forget it. This afternoon, while walking the grounds at the old Tsolum School in Merville discussing Garry oaks with Loys Maignon of Comox Valley Nature, we both came to a stop when we heard a single bird calling from the playing fields. Even without binoculars, we …

Redhead

A great day out birding for the Comox Valley Nature spring bird count. Like Christmas Bird Counts, the spring count is an attempt to tally as many species as possible while trying to document the number of individual birds in the count area. Unlike Christmas Bird Counts, the weather is generally a little better. I spent the first hour at …