Showing posts from 2016

Golden Eagle Flight Shots

At sunset this 3rd winter Golden Eagle flew right over my head! What a stunning bird and lucky moment for me. Flight shots are my weak point so I always try to practice when I can. This is the third winter that this beautiful bird has returned to Boundary Bay. Mike Tabak was the first to find him this winter on Dec 13th. This was a special day as earlier in the day I had seen the 1st winter Black-headed Gull that Ilya Povalyaev found in the same spot. See that post HERE

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!


I twitched 2 different Black-headed Gulls (BHGU) in 3 different locations this year. There were 3 different birds in the province this year one in Vancouver, Delta and Sayward. The first one I twitched was an adult found by Edward Nygren at Trout Lake. I successfully found him right at the lake as he sat on the water. I then saw him at the Cardero Sea Wall where it had been relocated by James Palmer on Feb 6th. The Gull was at Cardero Rd and Beach Ave at English Bay in Vancouver, BC. This gull appears to be the same adult gull that was first seen at Trout Lake between Jan 25th-31st, 2016. He is currently in winter plumage.

In nearby WA state they have had 2 different BHGU's this February in Monroe! It is an incredibly rare phenomenon in the Pacific Coast! The last Black-headed Gull before this in BC was in 2001 and in WA the last BHGU before this year was I believe 1993.

After that I didn't chase it to Spanish Banks or Iona where it was subsequently sighted. I did however get…

Field Sparrow twitch in Colwood!

This bird was found today by visiting Washington State birders Andy and Ellen Stepniewski. The bird was at Esquimalt Lagoon in Colwood, BC on Vancouver Island. This bird moved fast and jumped around like a little mouse. He was not easy to photograph during my visit (hence my record shot) but I sure was happy to see him. This bird unfortunately had 2 ticks on the left side of his face which you cannot see in this photo. Many are wondering if this is the same bird seen recently in Neah Bay, WA. This is the second time BC birders got to see BC's second record of a bird after missing the single observer sighting the year before. Recently the same thing happened with a Lucy's Warbler.You can read more about this sighting at my other blog the BC RBA HERE

LUCY'S WARBLER again in BC and this time I saw it!

Ilya and I went up to Kelowna, BC to twitch the Lucy's Warbler that Michelle Lamberson originally found the September 25th at Sunset Park a few months before. During the 5 hour drive we were getting anxious. It had just been relocated at the same location on November 12th by Chris Charlesworth, Chris Siddle, Ann Gibson and Michael Force. When we got there we got great views of the bird after Mike Toochin heard it calling.  This was the second record for the province. The first record was a single observer sighting in Castlegar a few months before in May. We never thought we would get the chance to see one again so quickly! We also saw a rare for the area Green Heron and a late Least Flycatcher. Later on we travelled to Vernon and twitched Chris Siddle's good looking adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.

 You can read more about this sighting at my other blog HERE

Snow Geese take flight

Since I was a little girl my dad would take me to view the large flocks of Snow Geese that pass through every winter in the lower mainland. Some farmers hate them and want to shoot them as they eat up the crops like tubers along with the swans. The Geese are voracious eaters and noisy too but I love the noise they make.

Ilya and I were driving to Brunswick Point for sunset when we saw a large field full of Snow Geese along with some Blue Geese. It was amazing to see over the 150,000 estimated Snow Geese in the fields. There was 3 Blue Geese present in the flock that we could see. We looked for an Emperor and Ross's Goose but to no avail. I am always eager to pratice flight shots so did that when the flock took up. Here is a video Ilya Povalyaev made of the geese taking flight it was so moving to watch. I am still in awe everytime I see large Snow Geese flocks taking flight. They are so beautiful with their white and black tipped wings. For this reason I get several rep…

Arizona I love you!

I went down to AZ for ten days and had a great trip. At this time of year most of the rarities and Arizona specialties have left (including the Tufted Flycatchers and Plain-capped Starthroat). The last Elegant Trogon left the day I got there and one apparently showed up the day I left LOL! However, at this time of year there are also very few birders and it's a great time to explore the year round birds of the Sonoran Desert.  Also, it is the best time of year to see the rare Lucifer Hummingbird and large numbers of Hummingbirds are still here. Plus the number of hawks and vultures is impressive to see as they gather to feed before their big migration. Last time I was here in Feb I got all the owls that occur here so I did not spend much time looking for them this trip. Many of the migratory owls have departed and at this time of year the resident birds are hard to find but I was surprised to still find a few owl species. I really liked birding in AZ in Sept because t…

Young Birder Hike up Flatiron Mountain!

We had a fantastic trip with 8 youth today in the Coquihalla Summit area. We spent 8 hours on the mountain and hiked 14.5 km, it was a challenging but very beautiful hike! Our mission was to search for White-tailed Ptarmigan. It started off very foggy and then once we got to the top the fog cleared and the sun came out showing us beautiful views, all around us! It sure was rewarding after the long hike. The youth were troopers through it all.

We hiked to a beautiful alpine lake under the peak of Flatiron and saw many animals during the day including Pika, Hoary Marmots, Red Squirrel, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels and Yellow-Pine Chipmunks.

We had such a fantastic time together telling stories and laughing the whole day through. The Youth all worked together scouring large areas for the Ptarmigan. We did not end up seeing any White-tailed Ptarmigan but did find fresh scat and feathers so we knew they were in the area. We ended up with great birds today regardless.

The species list is…

Young Birder Pelagic to Sooke

We took a Zodiak out of Sooke with ten kids and went in search of Jaegers, Shearwaters etc. The year before but in October Ilya Povalyaev, Guy Monty, Carlo Giovanella, Peter Candido, Ann Nightingale and Kim Beardmore went out on 2 boats in search of the Brown Booby. Ann was doing her VI big year at the time. We never did see the Brown Booby but we ended up with Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers, Red-necked Phalaropes, Northern Fulmars, Heermann's Gulls, Cassin's and Rhino Auklets, Marbled and Ancient Murrelets, Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters. It was a great day. We hoped we would replicate it even though it was Sept but unfortunately the weather was too good. It was too warm and still with no wind and not a single tubenose was in sight. A Tufted Puffin was seen by a few on board and we saw over 20 Humpback Whales which was really impressive for the kids. We also saw California Sea Lions at a nearby den. We went as far as Port Renfrew and turned back. Sometimes the whales were…

Rare Shorebirds (Ruff, Buffs and Stilts) up close and personal!

3 Rare shorebirds species  came to the Vancouver area all in the same week. First was 4 Black-necked Stilts that turned up in Burnaby Lake. Usually you only see Black-necked Stilts 5 hours away in Robert Lake in Kelowna! These  two immatures allowed for close photographs as I lay on the dock at Piper Spit on August 30th. While I was photographing them there was some commotion on one side of the dock there was a bobcat (that had mange) catching ducks and in front of me was a Black Bear tearing down nestboxes in search of eggs and nestlings.

Well while I was photographing these, Roger Foxall found a provincial rarity, a juvenile male RUFF at Boundary Bay. I had no good photos of this species so I went down there ASAP. I met up with my friends John Reynolds and Mike Tabak on the dock and we sat down on the rocks and let the Ruff walk right up to us. As we sat still Semipalmated Plovers, Pectoral , Baird's Sandpipers did the same! Then out of nowhere a Coyote walked along the seawee…

Westport Pelagic was too awesome!