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Showing posts from 2021

I lost my mom and my heart is truly broken

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It has been hard. It has been really hard to find the right words. I don't think I have found them but I had to write about my pain, grief and loss. My mom Valerie was diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer, 3 years ago. She found the lump herself, despite regular mammograms. Sadly things didn't go as we had hoped and in 2020 she was diagnosed with stage 4 or metastatic breast cancer. It progressed quicker than any of us would have guessed. First they thought it was cured after surgery and radiation. Then it came back in another organ (the liver)... then we tried chemo... then it went to her bones... then we got a trial drug... that would have cost way too much money than we could ever afford but the oncologist at BC Cancer went to bat for her with Pfizer and got it at no cost to us. However, that damn-well failed as well and it continued to spread and grow in her organs, especially the liver. Then we tried IV Chemo... IV Chemo is so rough. IV Chemo is so much to endure. She trie

BC FINALLY GETS A PHOTO-DOCUMENTED RED-SHOULDERED HAWK!!

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We went to twitch the Red-shouldered Hawk in Agassiz that Susan Fennellow found the night before. We only had 2 sight records in BC. However, we did not have a photographic record which is required by the BC Bird Records Committee for a new species to be added to their list of birds seen in BC. This was a long overdue official record for the province. When I left home at 6:15 am the rain was pounding but when we reached Agassiz the sun came out even though it was bitterly cold. It was nice to meet up with many friends and twitchers including those friends I have not seen in a while like Murray Brown, Brian Stech (thank you dear Brian for the delicious Salmon!), Dale Jensen, Aaron Gaffney, Dave Beeke, Ed Klassen, Ken Willis, Bill Beadle, Krissi Martin, John Gordon, John Vooys and many more.  We arrived at 8:30 am and it took many hours of waiting and birding in place or driving around the nearby fields and roads looking for the hawk which we did too. The birding all around the area was

Sad news for Snowy Owls ...

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Read what is happening to breeding Snowy Owls up in  Utqiaġvik , ( Barrow) AK. It is sad indeed. Climate Change and more is affecting them. The breeding birds in Canada are also declining. This new article came out Dec 7, 2021 from Hakai Magazine and you can read it HERE Just another reason why Snowy Owls should not be bothered, pressurized by crowding and noise or flushed when they are so vulnerable. Photo: Michio Hoshino

City of Richmond approves my Purple Martin nest box project !

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After a long wait with time taken to write up reports and requests to City Council in the summer and with support from Councillor Carol Day the city of Richmond along with the parks department has approved my proposal of building Purple Martin boxes at Garry Point Park ! I was so excited when I got the news I went out to celebrate. This project is considerably more expensive for the city because we must use boats to install the boxes on pilings in the water and the boxes must be made more weather proof as they will be in more harsher salt water conditions. We are going to add predator baffles and wire to prevent gulls from perching on them. The city has been wonderful about working with me to achieve the perfect design that will help bring the best chance of success to the new colony. I took several trips to the park to figure out which posts would be the best for the colony. I chose this park because the slough they will be in is calm with low boat noise/traffic and especially very l

REGISTER FOR THE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT FOR YOUTH JAN 2ND!

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If you are a young birder between the ages of 12-18 and want to join me on the annual Christmas Bird Count for Youth at Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta, please sign up HERE Note the event begins at 9 am on Jan 2nd and is free for all youth attending but if parents want to join they must pay Reifel's entrance fee of 5$.  Looking forward to seeing you all soon! The 2020 count was cancelled due to covid but you can read about the 2019 coun t HERE See you soon! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all that celebrate!

Help Young Birder Adam Dhalla save a vital urban forest in Coquitlam!

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Young Birder Adam Dhalla who has made 2 conservation-based games  Find The Birds  (which now has the BC Game out!) and Find the Bats has been working hard to save an urban forest in his hometown of Coquitlam. I could not be more proud of him! You can watch the documentary below that he made about the birds and bats that live there and would be impacted if the forest was to be destroyed. You can read more about the importance of preserving this urban forest at the website he made HERE . He has also created a petition that has over 15,000 signatures. Please sign it HERE

A getaway to Manning Park

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We got out of the city and went to Manning Park on the weekend. It is always so peaceful and one of my fave places to bird at any time of year.  The weather was rainy in Vancouver but at Manning it was sunny and no snow. The road to Cascade Lookout was still sadly closed. It is a great road for grouse and Clark's Nutcrackers but it is always closed by this time of year. We started out at Strawberry Flats as soon as we got out of our car we were greeted by 5 Canada Jays. I bought peanuts for them and had fun feeding them. I am always amazed by how many nuts these jays can cram into their bills. One for instance crammed in 11 at once!! Canada Jays in Manning Park - Photos: Melissa Hafting After photographing the Jays we heard a Hairy Woodpecker calling. We tracked the bird down and saw it was a nice male. We heard more tapping from the same tree and down below was a male American Three-toed Woodpecker! They are one of the main targets on any Manning Park visit.   Male American Three-

Come To Newfoundland With Me! (SOLD OUT)

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**UPDATE: This trip is now SOLD OUT** I am co-leading a tour with Ilya to Newfoundland with Avocet Tours June 11-17th, 2022. You can read the full details of the itinerary, the cost and what birds we will see. Plus you can learn how to sign up HERE The trip is almost full and I hope to have you join us for an awesome time in one of the most beautiful spots in Canada! Seeing the seabird colonies of Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Thick-billed Murres and Gannets is not to be missed! We will also see eastern warblers, forest songbirds and great land mammals (like Caribou, Moose and Fox) and of course whales too. You can email me at bcbirdergirl(at)gmail(dot.com) or Chris Charlesworth at c_charlesworth23(at)hotmail(dot)com  with any questions. We should see many Magnolia Warblers in Newfoundland - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev Willow Ptarmigans will be one of the birds to delight us in NFLD - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev Blackpoll Warblers will be numerous in NFLD - Photo: Ilya Povalyaev