Showing posts from March, 2020

Some hope for birds and wildlife impacted by the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion project

The Review Panel established to conduct an environmental assessment of the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project has submitted their report to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. The report is a culmination of several years of extensive assessment, including public and indigenous consultation.  The full report is publicly viewable HERE . The good news is that the panel finds this project will be detrimental to bird, fish, wildlife and human health. The birds most impacted in the summary are Western Sandpipers and Barn Owls. Let's hope it is not too late to end the proposed expansion project. You can read a summary of their findings below:

I found a Rock Sandpiper Today!

Just when I thought the birding was really slow here. I went down to Point Roberts with Ilya and we found a Rock Sandpiper at Lighthouse Marine Park. I bird Point Roberts a lot  as it's one of my fave places to bird. I have never seen a Rock Sandpiper there despite my friends Kevin  Louth and  Ken Klimko and others finding them there. Point Roberts, although located in WA is still under the Metro Vancouver County checklist as per Nature Vancouver. It is in Whatcom County as per eBird though. It was a new bird for the point for me. Ilya and I watched it with Ken and Kathy for over an hour and then it flew towards the marina. At the marina we quickly found it again with a flock of Black Turnstones and watched it for another hour before they flew away just before sunset. Hopefully it sticks around for a few days for other birders to see. It was a very confiding bird too. Point Roberts has had some confiding rare shorebirds like Curlew Sandpiper, American Golden-Plover and Rock Sa

The many faces of a Northern Pygmy-Owl

I have been focusing more on my photography of late as birding has been pretty darn slow here. I was happy to get some nice Northern Pygmy-Owl shots recently. To be in the presence of these tiny, cute and ferocious guys are always a treat!. I watched him hunt and pounce and devour a vole. He ate the brains and left the carcass by the wayside. You gotta love these little vicious puffballs.  Here is a close up series of the many faces of a Northern Pygmy-Owl. These guys give a new meaning to "having eyes on the back of the head." Northern Pygmy-Owl are great fun to see! - Photos: Melissa Hafting

UPDATED: Critical Bog and Wildlife Habitat at the Richmond Nature Park is being destroyed by a Pipeline....

Update: City of Richmond has released a press release stating 75 trees have been cleared and 50 more to come down for this pipeline. There is no requirement for them to put in new trees to replace the ones they will take down after the pipeline is put in.  Richmond News published a story yesterday about this HERE . I finally got a response from the Mayor and Council Office. The land is on Ministry Land and no signage is required because the pipeline group is not the city or the province... absolutely no transparency City Councillor Michael Wolfe who voted against the pipeline replied to me. He was shocked that the construction had begun in secret. He went to check out the devastation himself. He took the below photo. He said that he was very upset that the Mayor and Councillors hadn't responded to me and asked senior city officials for an immediate response. The city will be drafting a press release today he also told me. At least even if they do not stop or reroute this pipe

A Great Weekend With Seaducks, Forest Birds And A Black Phoebe

Ilya and I went to Washington State this weekend. It was a gorgeous sunny day and it was so nice to get out and a break from our local routine. We first stopped at Blaine to shoot some Long-tailed Ducks near Semiahmoo Spit. We were happy to have these stunning ducks so close, which rarely happens... at least for me!. We found a young male and a female. The male had a growth on his neck. This is the one duck that I prefer in non-breeding plumage than in breeding. Immature Male (pink bill) and Adult Female LTDU in Blaine, WA - Photos: Melissa Hafting Next we went to Wylie Slough on Fir Island in Mt. Vernon. Here we saw 1 of the 2 Black Phoebes that are present there. These birds have successfully had 2 broods already. I think soon we will see this species having confirmed breeding in BC; especially with the continued warming of our planet. Wylie Slough had some other rare birds today including a Northern Waterthrush and Lesser Yellowlegs. We dipped on the Cinnam