Posts

Young Birder Whistler Hike Oct 1st!

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Hi Young Birders please come join me on a Hike to Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler for ages 11-18 on Sat Oct 1st. Please bring a bagged lunch, water, hat and wear warm layers. Please bring some money for dinner too. We will be looking for Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, Canada Jays, Pygmy Owl, Clark's Nutcrackers, Townsend's Solitaire, American Pipits, Sooty Grouse, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Horned Lark, Mountain Chickadees and more. We should also see Pika and Hoary Marmots and maybe some Black Bears. There is a fee for this event for transportation from Vancouver (Burrard Skytrain Station at 1088 Melville St) and for the gondola. If you are unable to afford the fee let me know and we will work it out! No one will be turned away. This is a BIPOC and LGBTQ+ friendly event. Everyone is welcome! Email me with any questions and for the pickup, drop off location and fee details.  You can see some of our past Whistler Trips HERE  and  HERE  . As you can see we had a great time and saw over 450

Grief Podcast

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If you are struggling with grief and loss like I am, I invite you to check out the amazing and at times heartbreaking new podcast " All There Is " from Anderson Cooper. The first episode just dropped and there will be new episodes every Wednesday . If you have lost anyone you have loved, you will relate. Anderson explains how he is changed forever since he experienced these deaths of those family closest to him. He talks about the isolation you feel when you are suffering when the world keeps on going. The smiling or laughing on the outside while you are really crying on the inside... That is why I love looking at birds they help in so many ways including soothing sadness and pain. Yesterday, I saw my first Broad-winged Hawk for Metro Vancouver and it’s moments like that which help distract me from my sadness. Broad-winged Hawk in West Van - Photo: Melissa Hafting  Anderson chats about how we as society don't talk about grief. This podcast really resonated with me and I

A WORLD WITHOUT BIRDS

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I wanted to share this poem by Christina M. Ward. When I recently saw this Red-necked Phalarope her words resonated with me all the more. Her poem talks about the detrimental impact we humans have on birds, while at the same time having the power to reverse what's happening. If only more would listen.. A World Without Birds I do not want to stand under quiet skies. I want them filled with bird song, the intertwining symphony of life breathing life singing life I do not want silent trees or Silent Springs without the buzzing of hummingbirds or the whisper-flight of wrens. The grass has held worm for robins, warm-breasted and numerous —as far into my memory as I can search. Where are the robins now? I haven’t seen one in so long. The Aves are in decline. I do not want to live in a world without birds. Without the intricacies of color the dapper dancing for mates the delicate strength of wings teaching us to soar above things, to be light as the wind and quick on our feet. How can I s

THE DAY I FOUND A CURLEW SANDPIPER

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Yesterday, I was telling Kevin Louth over the phone that I was feeling very sad and was missing my mom so was going to go for a bike ride and see what shorebirds I could find at Boundary Bay. I was hoping to see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper that Kevin and Mike Toochin had found and The Hudsonian Godwit that Rob Lyske had found. So I put my scope on my backpack and took out my new bike that my dad gave me for my birthday and parked at 112th St and biked down the dyke. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to have the wind on my face. I have been missing my mom more than ever this week and feeling the pain of physical heartbreak and wished she was with me. It has been 8 months but feels like yesterday when I lost her. This summer I lead a bird walk at Colony Farm for youth at the Crossroads Hospice Society who lost close family members. One of the teens in the group told me about her mom she also lost to cancer. Her mom was a Veterinarian and an amazing woman. I was inspired by this

Young Birders Shorebird Night In Delta

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Western Sandpiper in Delta - Photo: Lory Cantin We had a fun young birder shorebird night at Boundary Bay last night. We met at 3pm and unfortunately quite a few of the youth were on holiday and out of town. Heather who is on the island sent me photos of a Long-billed Curlew she found and Clay sent me photos of a family of Spruce Grouse he saw on his adventures in the Cariboo. Evan and Lukas are on the island, Raymond was in Sechelt and Bentley is having a blast picking up lifers in Nova Scotia. Cameron is at Long Point in Ont where Josh just came back from and he had fun telling us all about his week there. You can read about Josh's adventures in Long Point HERE . We still ended up with 8 youth (2 had to leave before I remembered to take the photo!). Young Birders at Boundary Bay - Photo: Melissa Hafting We started off checking out the foot of 104th St where we found a flock of at least 1000 Black-bellied Plovers and a breeding plumaged Red Knot. It was a lifer for most in the gro

The Elusive Horned Puffin Of Smith Island

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On Wednesday my friend Eric Ellingson invited me out on his boat to go look for the Horned Puffins (apparently there are 2 there now and possibly breeding) hanging around at Smith Island. I guess Eric took sympathy on me for dipping so many times on this bird. I have never photographed this species so was really anxious to see it. I hadn't seen Eric in years due to COVID restrictions so it was so nice to spend time with him and his lovely wife.  As I was going out my friend Ryan Merill texted me that a Nazca Booby was seen early this morning riding a barge. Ryan had seen it from land in Seattle with a scope but by the time we had launched it had left the barge it was sitting on. There had been no sightings now for an hour. We plowed on to Smith Island and saw many great birds like Common Murres, hundreds of Heermann's Gulls, Rhinoceros Auklets, Red-necked Phalaropes and Pigeon Guillemots and Red-necked Grebes. When we got to Smith Island I noticed there was way fewer Tufted Puf