Showing posts from September, 2015

BOAT TRIP for our Vancouver Big Year!

My good friend John Reynolds took the gang out on his boat. Peter Candido, Ilya Povalyaev, George Clulow, Hilary Maguire and Quentin Brown set out to find a Heermann's Gull and Wandering Tattler for our Vancouver Big Year. We left Port Moody and boated out around Stanley Park towards Iona and soon saw a 3 Parastic Jaegers, including this one perched on a log. We saw quite a few Common Terns that the Jaegers were harrasing. This juvenile Common Tern allowed the boat to come right up to him without batting an eye. The boat seemed to act as a blind and they were calm around us. It's rare to get that close to skittish Common Terns. We went to Sands Heads (near Steveston) and along the jetty saw many Black-bellied Plovers and 2 Red Knots! Many Caspian and Common terns and 3000 Western Sandpipers. We then saw our prize 2 Heermann's Gulls! Vancouver Island residents will be laughing at us but Heermann's Gulls are not common on the lower mainland. Point Roberts, the Ferry Je

Lifer Mountain Quail

My friend Brian Stech and I have been talking about going to Belfair, WA to find Mountain Quail for a really long time! So we finally decided to go ahead and do it. We combined it with the Tacoma Slaty-backed Gull but unfortunately we dipped on him but we did get our quail! We had a whole Covey of them! A family of ten quails, including  a mother and her young. We camped out in the spot we heard they had shown up a week ago and after three hours they appeared literally out of nowhere. While we waited for the Quail we saw a beautiful Sharp-shinned hawk trying to eat some Steller's Jays and about 30 Band-tailed pigeons and 30 Mourning doves. This beautiful and very skittish and elusive quail was a lifer for me! Brian had never photographed them before and only had brief glimpses of them in California. Boy are they dashing. This one here is an adult female, they make very cute little sounds. Female Mountain Quail in Belfair, WA - Photo: Melissa Hafting

All 3 Jaegers on a Young Birder Pelagic to Race Rocks!

15 kids and 5 parents went on a pelagic on "The Fantasea" vessel to Race Rocks Marine reserve near Victoria. We had a fantastic trip! We couldn't have asked for a better bunch of kids or better weather or a nicer boat or frankly a better guide! Thanks to Guy Monty for all his hard work spotting birds for us and for bringing the chum that brought in the gull and jaegers. Your help was invaluable to us and the kids and I appreciate it so much!!!! Thank you to all the parent volunteers for helping me out Rob Lyske, Daniel Donnecke, Cathy Reader-Lee and Warren Lee, it really meant a lot to me and I am truly grateful! Our  highlights were getting all 3 Jaegers species (Long-tailed, Parasitic and Pomarine) and  Red-Phalaropes  which is a bit unexpected so near to mainland Victoria.Some mammals we saw were: Humpback Whales, Stellar's and California Sea Lions. Other great birds we saw were: Pacific and Common Loons, Red-necked Phalarope, Western Gulls, Rhino Auk