The second pelagic was also excellent. We had great species diversity, but much lower numbers. It was great to be able to bird with 85+ other birders. I will post the species list in the coming days once I have had a chance to organize some pictures. For me the highlight was a LEACH’S STORM-PETREL, a lifer! The organization that put on the Pelagic is called WIldResearch, so check them out at www.wildresearch.ca
After an awesome time birding in Tofino, it was off to Victoria to see if I could add any missed species from the summer
I started out by checking the ocean shore at Clover Point. While there was nothing unusual to be seen, a couple of close Heerman’s Gulls are always a good consolation. My hope was that I would be able to find a Brown Pelican, but some light fog made viewing conditions of the small rocky islands offshore difficult. I did have a small flock of Plover sp. sitting on some rocks, but they were too far away to identify.
Heerman’s Gull – always nice to watch!
My next stop was Mount Douglas, where I was hoping to find some woodland species. A walk on some of the trails around the base of the park turned up nothing new, nor did a drive to the summit. The views of the city from the top are definitely worth the drive up.
My next stop was Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary. I have visited this great spot in the city a few times, and added several birds to my year list when I visited in the winter. It was a nice warm sunny afternoon, so I was hoping to run into some fall migrants. Part way around the trails I discovered my camera battery had died. Great. Had it been working I would have had great photos of Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Bewick’s Wrens, but it wasn’t to be. As I neared the end of my walk, feeling panicked by my lack of year bird additions I heard a chip. Then I heard it again. Then I saw a flurry of movement. Then it popped into view. BLACK-THROATED GREY WARBLER! Year bird! And with no camera, despite it being on bare branches mere feet away from me. Then I had a rare moment of brilliance, just take a picture with my BlackBerry. Thankfully the bird obliged, and I was able to get a few decent pictures. It was a great way to end my walk!
A quick visit to Esquimalt Lagoon didn’t produce anything new, so I headed up to Sidney to pick up my friend and headed to the ferry for Vancouver.
Then it was time to head home! I have been making good time, and have added 2 new species. I finally tracked down a CLARK’S GREBE in the Salmon Arm Western Grebe flock. My only other addition was a small group of ROSS’S GEESE in a flock of Snow Geese about 2 hours from Regina.