Showing posts from October, 2015


Ilya and I drove up to Summerland to twitch BC's first Wood thrush and boy were we lucky to get him because the next day he was never seen again. This is a Eastern Bird that normally doesn't travel west of Ontario. When we made it up there we were met by Dick Cannings, Chris Siddle, Chris Charlesworth and many others. While we were waiting fot the bird to show up at the front yard of a private home a few Snow Buntings flew over (uncommon for the Okanagan). When it finally showed up it gave great but brief views and sang its beautiful sweet song. I was able to obtain a record shot. You can read more about this sighting at my other blog the BC RBA HERE  After we saw the bird we birded White Lake where we saw a Short-eared Owl and Rock Wren which was rare for the time of year there, which was cool. As we drove along the road we came across many Mountain Bluebirds and later in the day I spotted this cute Western Screech Owl as it roosted in the day. They truly blemd into the

Saskatchewan's Whooping Cranes!

I went to Saskatchewan for four days and just got back!I got to do some birding and got to see some Whooping Cranes! I won't publicly disclose the exact location of these cranes as they are too critically endangered.I found two adults and one Juvenile. The juvenile is the one with the cinnamon head to the left. It is extremely rare to find them this late in the year first of all and second in Canada you usually don't get close to them like you do in Texas usually you get distant scope views. This family group let me approach within 200m. I did not push it further than that in order not to flush them as they have a long journey ahead. I was in awe when they started to vocalize which is extremely rare to hear! You can hear that bugle across SK! They are usually silent up here! I have never been this close to Whooping Cranes in my life!  I was very lucky as they should be leaving by next week at the latest! This was a day I will never ever forget! Being so close to

Male Hooded Warbler in Revy!

I was invited to see this rare bird found by Darlene Cancelliere in Revelstoke, so I made the 7 hour journey and boy was it worth it. We have only about 9 records in the province and I believe we haven't had a male in the province in 26 years. Even though this little bird never sat still for any good quality photos it was one of the most fulfilling twitches I have been on. The yard that had this bird also had a female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER and Harris's Sparrow at the same time!. In years previous it has produced other good birds like Bramblings. Male Hooded Warbler in Revelstoke - Photo: Melissa Hafting  

Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain Young Birder Trip!

Well our youth birding trip was a fantastic success. We had such a great time in gorgeous sunshine! We had eight kids and they all got many lifers! These are some of the highlights we saw today during our 11.9km hike! 450 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches (both the coastal and interior species!) It was an amazing sight to see such large flocks in swarms like that! Northern Pygmy-Owl (perched 6 metres away from us!) 1 Hoary marmot Pikas Pine Siskins Evening Grosbeak Varied thrush Steller's Jays Mountain chickadees Chestnut-backed chickadees Red breasted Nuthatches Red-tailed Hawks 3 American Pipits Golden-crowned Kinglets 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks 4 Clark's Nutcrackers Eurasian-Collared Dove 1 Townsend's Solitaire 2 Merlins 50 Gray Jays (that loved to feed from our head and hands) We dipped on a Ptarmigan but we couldn't complain could we?! It was so wonderful seeing our first Rosy finch from the "Peak to Peak" gondola, having lunch by such a be

Black-throated Sparrow in Sooke!

I drove all the way to Whiffin Spit in Sooke, BC to see this little beauty. It was a BC bird for me. It is one of the birds I have wanted to see most in BC. He had a tick on the other side of his face so I focused on his "good side". He was feeding heavily all day so I am not sure how long he will stay, so I was glad I went right away. This is a very rare bird for the area and prefers desert and sagebrush! There hasn't been one on the island in 22 years! Thanks to Kim and Roger Beardmore for finding him! You can read more about this sighting at my other blog the BC RBA  HERE Juvenile Black-throated Sparrow in Sooke - Photo: Melissa Hafting