Metro Vancouver Global Big Day with Friends

Good friends John Reynolds, Quentin Brown, George Clulow , Ilya Povalyaev and I did a big day on May 23rd! It was so much fun. Ilya designed the idea and plan and we were to start at 4:30am.

Due to the late date we found most birds on breeding territories. Our route focused on breeding birds and maximized opportunities to pick-up late shorebirds & waterbirds to be most productive. I suggested we head east instead of south when leaving the north shore in order to avoid rush hour traffic over the Lions Gate Bridge/downtown.
This was our schedule for the day artfully planned by Ilya Povalyaev:
0445 - 0600: Cypress Mtn (sunrise 5:19)
0600 - 0700: drive to Burnaby, with stops for AMDI & PIGU
0700 - 0730: Burnaby Lake
0800 - 0845: Colony Farm
0915 - 0945: Minnekhada
1015 - 1100: Grant Narrows
1100 - 1300: drive to White Rock/lunch/contingency birds
1300 - 1330: White Rock Pier
1345 - 1415: Kwomais Pt
1430 - 1515: Blackie Spit
1600 - 1630: Boundary Bay (tide is 12ft at 1400).
1700 - 1730: Ferry Jetty
1750 - 1800: Canoe Pass (MUSW) & Westham Is (BNOW)
1825 - 1850: Richmond/contingency birds
1900 - 2100: Iona (sunset 20:59)

We had a fun day but did not do as well as we expected, as we ended up with 132 species. The wind and choppy waves killed us on the seabirds and ducks! We missed some common birds too including Red-breasted and Common Mergansers and Bushtit!!

If the weather cooperated we should have easily got 140! I think 150 would have been really tough but we could have done it too. We especially could have if we had done the Big Day the week before all the migrants left to breed.Unfortunately we were all busy during that weekend. A funny moment came during the big day when we found a Barn Owl and we all hoped in the car thinking we had all seen it and George was actually driving away when Quentin said you saw it?! I laughed so hard I almost died. For some reason we hadn't noticed that Quentin missed it and he didn't notice we saw the bird. It was laughable... definitely the best moment of the day.
Thanks to George Clulow for driving all day... not sure how he stayed awake and thanks to John Reynolds and Quentin Brown for all the laughs and great company. I can't wait to do another one with you guys!


  1. Wow lots of good birding it sounds like!!

    1. Yes was tons of fun and great birding by all. We laughed a lot!


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