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 …

Glaucous-winged but no Glaucous Gull

Portuguese Joe’s is usually good for gulls any time of the year – there’s a regular group that waits for scraps from the fish market here on Comox Road (also known locally as the Dyke Road). I’ve stopped in a couple of times over the winter hoping to see a Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) that makes the occasional appearance with …

Boning up on Bonaparte’s

With several Christmas Bird Counts coming up in just over a month, it’s worth taking a look at two more easy to identify gulls. The Mew Gull (Larus canus) is a small white-headed gull with a delicate yellow bill and yellowish legs making it a relatively easy gull to identify. The Mew Gull (Larus canus) is a small, white-headed gull …

A Trio of Gulls

I was down at Air Force Beach in Comox, British Columbia doing some birding this past weekend and was amazed at the amount of red seaweed washed up on the beach – in places it was at least thigh deep and was so thick that it was holding the incoming tide back from flooding the beach. Hundreds of gulls worked …

Ring-billed Gulls in Richmond

I was over on the Lower Mainland today and managed to get a little bit of birding in before having to catch the ferry back to Vancouver Island. I had just enough time to check out two reports on the Yahoo Vancouver Birding list serve – a Scrub Jay that was reported at Terra Nova as recently as November 3 …

Guess that Gull

I admit that I struggle with identifying gulls. Not only do you have to deal with four years of different plumages, you have to deal with hybrids as well. It can be extremely challenging and there are many opportunities to second guess yourself. In situations like those, sometimes it’s better to simply close your eyes, wait until the gull is …

Birding at Oyster Bay

One of the better places for winter bird watching within easy driving distance from Courtenay is Oyster Bay Regional Park. The park is located just north of Oyster River and opposite the Driftwood Restaurant on old Highway 19A. Oyster Bay is best when the tide is high and the birds are in closer to the shore. A spotting scope is …

Swimming with Bonapartes

The swimming was excellent at Miracle Beach this afternoon and as an added bonus a flock of Bonaparte gulls (Larus philadelphia) was actively feeding on invertbrates in floating bits of seaweed. I normally enjoy birdwatching from the shore but I have to admit that floating quietly on my back and watching the Bonapartes fly over added a whole new dimension …