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 …

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 …

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 …

Schooner Cove Shorebirds

We’ve just gotten back from a fabulous weekend in Tofino where we attended several Shorebird Festival events hosted by Raincoast Education Society. The festival is over but if you haven’t had a chance to experience the incredible phenomena of spring shorebird migration you still have lots of time to make a trip to the west coast and see it for …

Cattle Point Round-up

We made a short stop at Cattle Point during our weekend in Victoria, British Columbia – both kids were asleep in the car so I was able to nip out for a quick walkabout while Jocie supervised. Cattle Point is usually pretty good for unusual birds and earlier in March a number of Rock Sandpipers (Calidris ptilocnemis) had been reported …

Fall Shorebirds at the Courtenay Airpark

A flock of about a dozen Long-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus) have been hanging out at the Courtenay Airpark for the last week or so. The Long-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus) that I wrote about in late September last year are back at the Airpark Lagoon in Courtenay, BC. For the last week or so there’s been a nice flock of dowitchers …

Foul Weather Phalarope

Jocie and I lived for a year on Haida Gwaii, British Columbia and spent some time birding with Peter Hamel. It was amazing to watch Peter in action and often areas where we had birded earlier in the week would produce something unusual when we were out with Peter. While there is a significant amount of skill involved in being …

Surfbird Surprise

A flock of Surfbirds (Aphriza virgata) on the rocks at Schooner Cove. I watched a flock of Surfbirds (Aphriza virgata), possibly fresh in from breeding grounds in Alaska’s rocky alpine areas, as they worked the intertidal zone in front of the large rocky island in the middle of Schooner Cove yesterday. I love visiting Schooner Cove and consider it one of …

Single Sanderling Lingering

It almost seems like the arrival of fall shorebird migrants is on pause or perhaps just waiting for the next big push. I haven’t seen too many shorebirds on the beaches at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve aside from a few Semi-palmated Plovers. There are, of course, plenty of California Gulls around and shorebirds can be found if one looks …

Where the BLOYs Are

Black Oystercatcher on the rocks at Green Point in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. I’ve got a couple of days off this week and today headed out to the rocky outcrops below the Green Point campground in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The rocks at Green Point are excellent for intertidal exploration, and are often good for shorebirds that prefer …