Dining with Great Blue

To my surprise Great Blue landed right in front of me and started hunting. Sometimes when you are looking for birds they just don’t cooperate. They become invisible and disappear. Your only choices are to curse and go home, or to exercise a little patience and sit and wait. A few weeks ago I was faced with that decision. I was on the beach at the …

Birds of Vancouver Island

Birds of Vancouver Island – A Photographic Journey by Glenn Bartley These brief reflections represent but a few of my memories of the beautiful birds of Vancouver Island. Over the past four years I have spent as much time as possible out in nature finding and photographing birds. I feel fortunate to have been able to see such wonderful creatures, …

Top Five Birding Spots in the Alberni Valley

Somass Estuary in the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I recently ran across a couple at Victoria Quay in Port Alberni. They had the tell-tale sign of a birder and a visitor – binoculars hanging from their necks and hanging around the signs by the Somass River. I approached them and they started asking about how to get …

A Place of Rainbows

Island of Rainbows The name Sointula, the Malcolm Island community of utopian origin off northern Vancouver Island, translates as ‘Place of Harmony’ – but it might equally be called ‘Place of Rainbows’. A frequency of rainbows of course means an abundance of rain, of which Malcolm Island receives over 150 cm annually – but the south facing shore of the …

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 …

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 …

The Littlest Duck

The male Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) sports attractive iridescent purple and colours on its head. The Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola) may be the smallest ducks in North America, but they are the favorites of many bird lovers. Because of their petite size and elaborate courtship displays, they are always fun to watch. Whenever I see them in freshwater ponds or the shallow …

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 …

Great Backyard Bird Count – February 12-15, 2010

House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) should be easy to find on Vancouver Island during the Great Backyard Bird Count. Photo © Judy Howle. Bird watchers coast to coast are invited to take part in the 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, Friday, February 12, through Monday, February 15, 2010. Participants in the free event will join tens of thousands of volunteers …