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 …

Fish Wrangling

I have to admit that I don’t usually go out of my way to photograph Great Blue Herons. When I’m out walking with my camera and telephoto lens I’m often approached by people with asking me if I’m photographing either Bald Eagles or Great Blue Herons (or in their words -“cranes”) when I’m focusing on something a little more interesting …

One of these Wigeons is not like the Others

We’ve just returned from a great three day trip in Victoria, British Columbia – it’s been nice to check out some of our favourite nature spots in the province’s capital and to experience a precursor of spring. It’s only about 3 hours drive from the Comox Valley but in Victoria Indian Plum and Red-flowering Currant is already well out in …

What was that Bird? #2

Thanks folks for trying to figure out the mystery bird – and congratulations to those who were right and/or close. This was a tough bird to figure out, especially since the most obvious field mark (and the one most regularly used to conclusively id the bird) wasn’t visible. The mystery bird – what is it? So what can we conclude …

What was that Bird?

OK folks – here’s a little challenge for you on a gray west coast Sunday. It’s time to crack open those bird books and see if you can figure out what bird this is. Post a comment below with the field marks that you used to help you identify the bird. I’ll post a couple of better photos (which show …

Looking and Listening for Long-tailed Ducks

During a break in the weather this week I had a chance to get down to Goose Spit to look for a short-eared owl that had been reported near the tip of the spit. There’s a large grassy area at the end of the spit that was once a hideous thicket of Scotch Broom. The Department of National Defense has …

Trumpeting in the New Year

As we roll into 2011 birders around the world are restarting their “year lists,” a tally of all of the species of birds they see in one year. Some, like Russell Cannings, use the new year as a starting point for a “Big Year,” a serious attempt to rack up as many species of birds as possible. In 2010, Russell …

A Greater Number of Lesser Snow Geese

Thousands of Snow Geese (Chen caerulenscens) can be seen on playing fields in Richmond, British Columbia. While in the Lower Mainland this weekend I was driving from Terra Nova Park (where I unsuccessfully looked for a Scrub Jay) to Garry Point (where I failed to find a Franklin’s Gull) I came upon the astounding sight of a playing field filled …

Birding at Reifel

If you’re a birder and in Vancouver, British Columbia, you will probably eventually end up at Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island. Reifel was one of my stops on a whirlwind birding trip to the Lower Mainland this past weekend and I have to admit that it was a bit of a love/hate experience. Maybe that’s putting it a little …

Trumpeter Swans at Woodhus Slough

Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) gliding over the water at Woodhus Slough. I headed out to Woodhus Slough this morning to do some casual birding with the kids and to check out how last week’s heavy rain, high tides and storm had affected the slough. The change was dramatic – while the dyke separating the slough from the ocean hadn’t been …