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 …

Oh Me, Deary-Deary-Me

You know that spring is here when early wildflowers come into bloom and newly arrived migrants from the south begin singing to to attract mates. Year round residents also join the chorus and this week during my lunch time walk I’ve seen (and heard) a couple of White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) singing from the tops of low trees along the …

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 …

Brandt’s, not Brant’s

A Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) showing off its exotic blue gular patch and white breeding feathers. If I only had a dollar for every time I’ve seen the confusion in the spelling of Brandt’s and Brant, I might be able to afford my dream birding trip to Ecuador. Right now we are nearing the end of the Brant Goose migration …

Ripple Rock Trail

Seymour Narrows and the former site of Ripple Rock from the viewpoint. A hundred years ago, the name of Ripple Rock evoked dread in the hearts of mariners, but today entices hikers to explore natural history as well as human history, on the Ripple Rock Trail. The stretch of water in Seymour Narrows, part of the Discovery Passage north of …

Western Gulls While Waiting

One of the great things about living on Vancouver Island is the time spent waiting for a ferry to either travel to the mainland or to visit one of the Gulf Islands. We took a trip to Salt Spring Island during the March Break and while waiting in the ferry lineup I had the opportunity to take a few photographs …

Big Day Birding – Brant Wildlife Festival

Search for gulls during the Brant Wildlife Festival Big Day bird count. Saturday, April 10 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. counting 3:30 p.m. post count gathering (Shelley Hall) Shelley Road, Parksville $20 per person Enter your team for a chance to test your abilities at finding birds. Great prizes and a good time awaits at the post count gathering where …

Victoria Natural History Society Field Trips

Victoria Natural History Society Walk Joining a local natural history club is an excellent way to learn more about nature and meet like-minded people. The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) has a number of interesting walks and presentations for both members and non-members throughout the year. Field trips are ranked according to difficulty: Level 1 – easy walking, mostly level …

Winter Birding at Oyster Bay

Looking out at the old pilings at Oyster Bay. The eastern coast of Vancouver Island has many locations that are excellent for winter birding. Sheltered bays offer resting places for numerous species of waterfowl and the beaches can be productive for shorebirds. One of the highlights between Courtenay and Campbell River is Oyster Bay Shoreline Regional Park, which is located …

Book Review – Field Guide to Birds of North America

Win a copy of Field Guide to Birds of North America – see contest details below. National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America Edward S. Brinkley Sterling Publishing Company Paperback 527 pages 2007 I’m always looking for good natural history reference books and discovered the National Wildlife Federation’s Field Guide to Birds of North America while browsing …