Sunday, 1 May 2011

Another New Bird For the Year

This morning's 'first for the year' was a lovely bright Wilson's warbler, seen along the lower path at the Government House grounds. It really was something of a saving grace, as until I had the pleasure of seeing it the birding had been dull as ditch water.
It didn't really pick up much after that to be honest, and the remainder of my visit was taken up with seeing the regular birds in-residence.

For those reading this blog who may be unfamiliar with the commoner birds of western Canada (or at least this wee pocket of Victoria...) here's a full list of birds seen and heard this morning.

Great blue heron (flyover)
Cooper's hawk
Glaucous-winged gull
Anna's hummingbird
Hairy woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
Northwestern crow
Violet-green swallow
Chestnut-backed chickadee
Red-breasted nuthatch
Brown creeper
Bewick's wren
Golden-crowned kinglet
American robin
Eurasian starling
Orange-crowned warbler
Wilson's warbler
Spotted towhee
Song sparrow
Dark-eyed junco
House finch
Pine siskin
House sparrow

So, while that would be an exceptional day on the Scillies or the Outer Hebrides, down here that's fairly mundane stuff.

I'm surprised, as others seem to be, at the lack of number of common migrants passing through so far this spring. I have had no falls of anything - last year I was regularly encountering 30+ groups of yellow-rumped warblers and such, and I find it quite amazing that I have only seen 1 rufous hummingbird so far...
Perhaps the 'good' weather has allowed direct passage to breeding grounds, allowing migrants to bypass stop-offs? There doesn't seem to be any blocking weather to the south of us, so I can't see any reason for a hold-up. Be interesting to see how the spring develops.

* Oh, and thanks the Nathan Hentze for providing the relevant contact info regarding the Nanaimo vesper sparrow. Cheers.

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