Sunday, 29 November 2009

New duck for my VI list!

Had a quick stop by Quennell Lake this morning and, as usual, I had my spare pair of bins in the car - just as well, as I noticed a group of 4 distant canvasbacks, 3 drakes and a duck.
I returned later with my 'real' binoculars and 'scope and tried to relocate the birds and after around 40 minutes I came across a single drake. I couldn't see the others anywhere but there are considerable areas of the lake that impossible to view from the road. In fact this drake only showed for about 3 minutes before disappearing behind an island. Rubbish pics of the bird attached.
I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've seen this species on Vancouver Island, though until my old notebooks arrive from across the sea I'm not 100% sure...
Also present here were a small number of trumpeter swans, at least 12 cackling geese amongst the 250 or so Canadas, a few ring-necked ducks, American wigeon, common merganser etc. A Cooper's hawk and merlin flew by and a yellow-rumped warbler was feeding in a hedgerow at the water's edge.
Incidentally, I was in a band called Canvasback once...

I then headed over to the Nanaimo estuary for a quick visit. 1 short-eared owl and 2 northern harriers (juv & fem) were seen.
At Holden Creek 2 red-tailed hawks were sat up in the small trees, a peregrine flew over and amongst the many green-winged teal was one bird which had a clear horizontal scapular stripe as well as the typical vertical one on the breast.


  1. Checklists with bar graphs (abundance & season) for the province & Vancouver Island are available at:

  2. Nice find on the Canvasback Jon!

  3. Ray here... I am pleased to report I had glegged the snap for only a second but I ID'd it as a Canvasback. Do I win a prize? Incidentally, the band should have been called Savnac.... work it out.