Happy BC Day! (does that stand for, Birding, Crap Day?)
As it happens, the birding wasn't crap as such, just slightly dull. But it is early August after all...
Jenny and I decided to spend the statutory holiday exploring somewhere new, so we checked the backroads map book and headed west. We followed the Nanaimo River Rd until we got passed First Lake and decided to have a wander around. Finding good walking trails seemed difficult, so we headed back, stopping off here and there as we went. At one point, we had up to 6 common nighthawks flying around calling, and seemingly displaying. This was late morning, and the birds gave us excellent views.
After following a few more dead end trails, we stopped and ate lunch at a curious, seemingly abandoned campsite.
Bird-wise we didn't see or hear much, other than Steller's jays and the odd bushtit, chickadee etc.
There were many butterflies around, unfortunately I was unarmed and most went unidentified. We came across good numbers of a medium size butterfly that was very dark, and on the underwing showed 'eyes' that looked like an orange figure of 8, with white dots in the counters - a common name would be very welcome, if anyone out there wishes to provide one!
There were scattered least sandpipers around, probably 38 in total, they were highly mobile and unusually skittish. At one point they were all on the creek but were zipping about between there and the rancid mosquito-infested pool I now refer to as The Bog Of Eternal Stench. A party of 7 lesser yellowlegs were also on the creek and just 3 killdeer were on the marsh.
A scruffy willow flycatcher was preening near the raised observation area (see pic) and lots of house finch, white-crowned sparrow and American goldfinch families were whizzing around.