Showing posts from August, 2019

Young Birder Trip to Manning Park

Young birders with Spruce grouse above them at Manning Park - Photo: Melissa Hafting We had a fantastic trip to Manning Park this Saturday. We met up in Langley and it was our first time meeting young birder Justin who was awesome!.  On the way in just before the lodge Katya spotted a Band-tailed Pigeon! It was a new bird for me for the park and quite uncommon here. We then drove up the road to Cascade Lookout where the youth and I enjoyed feeding the Clark's Nutcrackers and Canada Jays.  The young birders and I never tire of having these birds land on our hands and heads. We also had fun feeding the Ravens and the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels and the Yellow-pine Chipmunks. We had a Pika calling here too. The young birders loved feeding the Canada Jays - Photos: Bridget Spencer I loved feeding the Clark's Nutcrackers as much as the youth! - Photos: Bridget Spencer After this we went up to the Heather Trail and enjoyed the wildflowers and saw a Fox Sparr

The most amazing pelagic of my life! - GUADALUPE AND SCRIPPS'S MURRELET, SLATY-BACKED GULL AND MANX SHEARWATER - all on the same trip!!

Yesterday I had the most amazing pelagic of my life and we didn't even find a fishing boat!. This has now topped the two pelagics where I've seen 3 Short- tailed albatross and 15 Laysan and 1 Short-tailed Albatross. We left Ocean Outfitters at 8 am on the "Miss B Haven." We first saw a Manx Shearwater that Tom Plath spotted by Cleland Island. Artie Ahier found a Manx Shearwater on August 13 and 15th but after reviewing photos we now all believe that our bird was different. Our bird is much more ratty and worn and missing primaries. This is very much unlike Artie's bird which is very clean and missing none! See HERE . It is pretty cool to know there are at least 2 Manx's out there!. It was really special for Liron and Ilya to finally see a Manx Shearwater it was a lifer for all of us. This is not the reason it is special though.... In 2017 we did a young birder pelagic trip and Liam Singh spotted a Manx and all 3 of us were not looking the right way and we m

Watch young birders Adam and Josh promote "birding backpacks" in new video

The Fraser Valley Regional Library has come out with a new initiative to promote birding for all. It provides anyone the ability to rent a good pair of binoculars, book and backpack for the day to go birding. Young birders Joshua Brown and Adam Dhalla do an excellent job explaining about the program and talking about why they love birding!. These backpacks are available all across the lower mainland (not just the Fraser Valley proper) at all 25 locations . Each backpack contains a pair of Vortex Crossfire binoculars, a field guide to North American birds, and a fold-out guide to British Columbia bird species. This is excellent especially for low-income families and the days you go out and forget your bins! It is also a great way for new birders to try out the hobby and get hooked!. The bins and backpack is allowed to be checked out for free for 1 week and if no one has it on hold you can keep it for a full 3 weeks!. This is also good for established birders who may send in th

Come see Liron's new photography exhibit!

Young Birder Liron Gerstman has a photography exhibit called "The Essence of Earth" that is about to open in Vancouver at the Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery. The Gallery is located inside the Jewish Cultural Centre at 950 W 41st Ave. It opens August 28th and runs until Sept 22nd. On Sept 10th it is the grand opening. You can also meet Liron in person at this reception. Liron is donating a portion of the proceeds to the Nature Trust of BC. Read all about it below and please come out to support him! Also Liron will be leading a free photography workshop at the Wings Over Iona bird festival at Iona on August 24th. Read about that HERE .

Cliff Swallow Nests are repeatedly being destroyed at Pitt Lake this summer!

Back in June Ilya and I went to Pitt Lake for some birding. We ended up finding a Yellow-breasted Chat and were really happy. We were happy until we returned to the main dyke to look for Ospreys. We were walking by the observation tower when we saw and heard frantic Cliff Swallows flying around the tower and clinging to it in pairs. It was odd behavior and we quickly clued in that someone had knocked down their nests. This was on June 15, 2019. The nests were cleanly knocked off and appeared to be power washed. Cliff Swallows flying around frantically and clinging where their nests once were at Pitt Lake - Photo: Melissa Hafting The only way to get to the tower is by a locked gate. The tower is maintained by the Provincial Gov't and the land owned by the Katzie First Nations. We reported the crime to the Conservation Officer, to the Canadian Wildlife Service, the provincial biologist who managed the Pitt-Addington Wildlife Management Area and the Federal wildlife enforcem

Illegal Bird Trapping is happening right in the USA!

I am not sure if you knew about this... but thousands of migratory songbirds are being caught around Florida each year to supply a thriving illegal market. Most of us are aware that illegal trapping of parrots and songbirds goes on in places like Mexico, Asia, Africa and Europe but did you know it is happening right in the US? Apparently songbirds like Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo and Painted Buntings, Scott's Orioles and Cardinals and even owls and hawks are being illegally trapped in Miami and sold on the black market. All of the birds are exhausted and easily trapped on their migration stop over in Florida. Most are trapped for the pet trade, for killing for religious sacrifice (yes you heard that!) and for singing competitions. Those of Cuban descent are being blamed for the majority of the trapping in the article. Apparently illegal bird trapping is rampant in Cuba. Some are rolling birds in hair curlers then taping them to their legs under their pants :(. Others use

2 great birding videos you NEED to watch!

You should watch this video about an incredible man who is 97 years young who has built nestboxes for over 40,000 Mountain Bluebirds. He is hiking around in Idaho at his age and still building boxes. He’s an inspiration!. I swear 40,000 Bluebirds will fly his spirit up to Heaven when he decides to leave this earth. We need more beautiful people like him in this world!. When you hear like we did yesterday about 2 mass shootings in the US you really value people like this, who uplift you in this difficult and sometimes heartless world. Watch the beautiful story below: Also, if you haven’t heard, there is a web series about an African American birder named Jason Ward from NY. He interviews big names in the birding world such as Pete Dunne. This week he interviews Kenn Kaufman and his wife Kim. It really made me like Kenn Kaufman even more than before. I didn’t think that was possible!. The love Kenn has for his wife and vice versa is so touching. A truly great team. I was glad t

Young Birder Pelagic Trip to Tofino Plus A Special Surprise In Vancouver!

Y oung Birders on Mackenzie Beach in Tofino - Photo: Melissa Hafitng We had a great pelagic trip this weekend in Tofino. We all got to meet young birder Gaelen from Nelson for the first time this trip. He was an awesome kid and birder and fit right into our little group. On the ferry ride over Gaelen got his lifer Pelagic Cormorant but we didn't see much else. We drove straight from Departure Bay to Tofino as we wanted to have time to bird the beaches. Toby's dad had thought he might have found a Spotted Redshank the day before flying by the crab dock so we looked for it but didn't find it. However, we did have a Purple Martin here flying over us, which is quite uncommon. Here we also got Gaelen his lifer Black Turnstone. The beaches were really quiet. We stopped at Wick, Long Beach and Mackenzie. Mackenzie was good though because the youth had fun tide-pooling. They caught and released sculpins, crabs and looked at sea anemones and watched Black Oystercatcher