I started off at Clover Point, scoping out over the waves and checking the rocky foreshore. I came across the expected black turnstones and surfbirds but there was nothing else wader-wise to be had. Offshore, there was plenty going on - hundreds of mew gulls and good numbers of glaucous-winged gulls wheeling around but nothing more enticing noticeable among them. The regular western-type was present around the parking area.
Alcids were represented by common murres, pigeon guillemots (many now in breeding garb) and a few rhinoceros auklets. The usual cormorant species were all present and correct.
I headed along the coast, checking out Harling Point and the Chinese Cemetery. Here the birds were much the same, though I did add white-winged scoter and a western grebe to the day-list.
A good scan around the Oak Bay Marina revealed little of note. I couldn't even find any greater yellowlegs; the only shorebirds seen being 6 killdeer roosting on a small islet.
At Cattle Point, a single Thayer's gull provided a little larid relief but my diligent search along the kelp draped rocks failed to turn up my hoped-for rock sandpiper and I had to be content with more surfbirds and turnstones. Oh well, next time eh?
|Another quality self-portrait...|
We trekked through the ridiculously verdant old growth rain forest as far as the Squally Reach Viewpoint - where on a day when the cloud wasn't at eye level, I am sure there are spectacular views to be had.
The birds were mostly silent, and mostly invisible.
Here were spied a few Barrow's goldeneyes (pic) and admired the decidedly Scottish-like views. Or am I thinking of Norway..?
We slogged our way back up the muddy McKenzie Bight trail in the drizzle.
|The Misty Wee Hills Of Gowlland Tod|
On our way home we stopped off at the Red Barn Market, and I slipped round the back to check the flooded field. Six trumpeter swans and 3 American coot were in among the many mallard.