Christmas Birding

The Christmas raspberry-red of the Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) makes it a perfect bird for the season. If you’ve never done a Christmas Bird Count (CBC) you still have time to experience the “fun” of a full day of birding in the middle of winter. On Vancouver Island in British Columbia this usually means a cold wet day spent in …

Lovely Lupins

Lupin sp. – flower close-up. Just over a week ago during the Comox Valley Spring Bird Count I was leading a team of birders out onto Goose Spit in Comox, British Columbia with our Department of National Defense minder (CFB Comox). We didn’t see much variety in the way of birds, mostly Savannah Sparrows and Killdeer at this site, but …

Point Holmes Tide Pools

This weekend I spent some delightful time poking around in tide pools at Point Holmes near Comox, BC. With the fantastic weather of the last couple of days and the low afternoon tides it is an excellent time to be exploring the sea shore. Point Holmes is always productive since it is a mix of sand and cobblestone with a …

Searching for Littlenecks

Mudflats and Purple Martin nest boxes at Comox Bay, British Columbia. I was a little better prepared for mudflat exploration at the end of the second day of the workshop at the Filberg Lodge in Comox, British Columbia. After my experience on Saturday, I wore my rubber boots and was ready to spend an hour or so out in the …

A Glorious Morning – BC SkyWatch #6

In the dead of winter here on the West Coast of Canada one knows that if the sun is shining in the morning it is imperative to seize the day before it vanishes. Such was the case this Tuesday when we had a break in the deluge. After a quick breakfast we headed to Goose Spit to do some beach …

Butter Clams at Goose Spit

One of the clams that we discovered on Tuesday at Goose Spit was the Butter Clam (Saxidomus gigantea). Clams belong in the Phylum Mollusca, Class Bivalvia and are characterized by having two shells or valves. They are filter feeders and take microscopic organisms out of the water that they draw into their bodies through a siphon. Butter Clam (Saxidomus gigantea), …

Flotsam and Jetsam at Goose Spit

We’ve been pretty much house bound over the last couple of days due to the weather here in the Comox Valley – high winds and lots of rain. We made a few short forays out for walks around the neighbourhood between squalls but for the most part hunkered down. When I woke up this morning I was stunned to see …