Eurasian Collared-Doves

Last weekend when I spent a day birding and looking for salmon I checked out the small park at the end of Deep Bay Drive for waterfowl. The park is an excellent place to look for waterbirds and often they come in quite close to the shore looking for shellfish. While I had good looks at the ducks there wasn’t …

Bird on a Wire #2 – American Kestrel

On my drive to work on the “Old Island Highway” I’ve seen an American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) on a couple occasions in November and now December. With my experience seeing an American Kestrel last year on several occasions throughout the winter of 2009/2010 I wonder if this might be the same bird overwintering on Vancouver Island again this year. An …

Three Kings

I managed to get out and enjoy a sunny afternoon at the Courtenay Airpark photographing a variety of birds along the way. I have to admit that I’m never really satisfied with my bird photography, but I think that it may have something to do with the poor quality of glass in my secondhand (now I know why the photographer …

American Pipits at Goose Spit

I went out to Goose Spit this weekend hoping to relocate and photograph a Snowy Owl that had been reported there earlier in the week. I didn’t find the Snowy but did get some great looks at another interesting bird that turns up on our beaches in the winter time – the American Pipit (Anthus rubescens). One of two American …

Boning up on Bonaparte’s

With several Christmas Bird Counts coming up in just over a month, it’s worth taking a look at two more easy to identify gulls. The Mew Gull (Larus canus) is a small white-headed gull with a delicate yellow bill and yellowish legs making it a relatively easy gull to identify. The Mew Gull (Larus canus) is a small, white-headed gull …

Flicker Framed

With daylight savings time rolling back the clock and a cloudy day, I wasn’t expecting much this afternoon down at Oyster Bay Regional Park. The light was pretty poor and murky (Oyster Bay is better in the morning when you can sit on the beach with the sun behind you photographing ducks on the water in the bay) and most …

A Trio of Gulls

I was down at Air Force Beach in Comox, British Columbia doing some birding this past weekend and was amazed at the amount of red seaweed washed up on the beach – in places it was at least thigh deep and was so thick that it was holding the incoming tide back from flooding the beach. Hundreds of gulls worked …

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

I’ve been able to enjoy a few lunch-time walks this week and it’s been great seeing some bird activity in the hedgerows. I’m using an older Sigma 170-500mm zoom and hand-holding it – it’s not a perfect lens by any stretch of the imagination and light conditions pretty much have to be ideal to get any kind of sharp image. …

Where Have All the Barn Swallows Gone?

As a birder I’ve been aware that populations of certain species of birds have been declining, but I was unaware of how dramatically the numbers of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) had fallen until I heard Dick Cannings talking about it on CBC Radio’s BC Almanac (available in iTunes – episode 2011-08-23 at about the 14:20 mark). According to Cannings, Barn …

Red-tailed Hawks

I was up at Strathcona Provincial Park this weekend helping out with the Friends of Strathcona Park Wilderness Festival and had the good fortune to get a closer look at a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Scarlet, Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society ambassador poses for photographs at the Friends of Strathcona Park Wilderness Festival. Scarlet is a Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society ambassador …