Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Birding The Point

Jenny was heading out to Sooke with her family today (no room for me in the car, unfortunately!) so I spent and hour or so at Clover Point this morning.
It was pretty much business as usual, although the water was relatively devoid of numbers of birds. There were common murres, rhinoceros auklets and pigeon guillemots in modest volume, and nowhere near as many as I've been seeing there recently. A single marbled murrelet was lingering close offshore.
Among a couple of hundred California gulls and a dozen or so glaucous-winged gulls on the rocks (hmm -glaucous-winged gulls on the rocks, sounds like a particularly unappetising cocktail..), were 9 Heermann's gulls and 5 black oystercatchers. Just 6 mew gulls were floating around just offshore.
A single least sandpiper flew in, landing briefly on the rocks and picking through the seaweed. A further 5 peeps (probably leasts, too) flew by, heading south.
A lone red-necked phalarope was out on the water.
Five harlequin ducks were present and the usual small flotilla of surf scoter were in Ross Bay.
A couple of barn swallows were flitting backwards and forwards over the rocks.

In Da House

I took a stroll down to Government House in the early evening. There was a little bit of activity along the woodland trail, where highlights included a warbling vireo, olive-sided flycatcher and rufous hummingbird. Presumably, these birds were all off passage.
Regarding rufous hummers - I can only surmise that their relative scarcity in Victoria (as opposed to Nanaimo, where they are common in summer) is down to the abundance of Anna's hummingbird (which is harder to find as one travels up island) in and around the city? Although one might imagine that the Anna's considerably earlier nesting period would reduce conflict and competition, there seem to be very few breeding rufous's in what appears to be suitable habitat down here. If anyone has any theories, I'd be interested to hear them....   

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