Sunday, 18 October 2009

Varied and Sunday

As mentioned in yesterday's blog, Jenny and I joined the Sunday Bird Walk and went to the Englishman River Estuary in Parksville. And it had stopped raining!!
The group saw/heard a total of 52 species, of which the highlights for me included:
Sharp-shinned Hawk (initially in an argument with a merlin then later chasing a Northern Flicker
Northern Shrike (juv).
Black turnstones and black-bellied (grey) plovers flying along the shoreline.
An adult peregrine came through, perching for a short while at the top of a dead tree.
Among the many American wigeon were smaller numbers of pintail, mallard, harlequin duck, bufflehead and green-winged Teal while offshore surf & white-winged (velvet) scoter, red-breasted & common merganser (goosander), common loon (great-northern diver) etc were seen.
Bonaparte's, mew (common), California, Thayer's and glaucous-winged gulls were all present.
Occasional passerines included yellow-rumped warbler, chestnut-backed chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, golden-crowned & ruby-crowned kinglets, Brewer's blackbird, golden-crowned & savannah sparrows, house finch and red crossbill.

It was good to meet up again with people who we joined for the Bird Walk back in April and the weather stayed mercifully pleasant. Thanks, as ever, to Colin and Neil and all involved.

Jenny and I paid a quick visit to Rathtrevor Beach on our way back, where we ate our butties and watched a flock of around 60 Bonaparte's gulls mucking about in the surf. Also here we saw a stunning group of around a dozen varied thrush (probably my favourite Canadian bird). Without being too indelicate, I could even see two though the ventilation slats whilst busy in the public 'washrooms'... What a country!

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