Pelagic # 2 & a few new birds…

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

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.



About canadabigyear2013

I'm a lifelong birder and naturalist who is undertaking a Canada Big Year in 2013.
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