Making the List – I and the Bird #145

Most birders keep some sort of list. It could be a life list of every single species of bird they’ve seen ever, or perhaps it’s a tally of all the species of birds they’ve seen in a year. Others stick a little closer to home and keep track of the different birds that visit their feeders. Still others try to …

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 …

Spotted Towhee in the Shrubs

I’ve really been enjoying my lunch time walks along the country roads near my work place in rural Comox Valley, British Columbia. With farm fields, blackberry brambles, and roadside thickets sparrows are common. One of my favourite sparrows at any time of year is the Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus). This large, dramatic sparrow usually announces itself with a “raspy mewing” …

Seeking a Sapsucker

One of the advantages of working where I do is that there are plenty of places to walk to during my lunch break. If the weather is good, I can get out for 30 to 45 minutes after a quick lunch (or eat lunch while I’m working to maximize my walk time). Sparrows are common in the thickets and blackberries …

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 …

Long-billed Dowitchers at Airpark Lagoon

Long-billed Dowitcher | Limnodromus scolopaceus Things are perking along at the Airpark Lagoon in Courtenay, British Columbia. Always a good spot for winter birding, at the large viewing stand on the eastern side of the lagoon I was watching a group of Barrow’s Goldeneye when I noticed a group of shorebirds foraging in the long grass directly below the platform. …