Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Parksville/Qualicum Beach Tuesday bird walk, January 13, 2015

The Tuesday bird walk went to Columbia Beach. The morning was cloudy with calm winds and a smooth Strait of Georgia.  The highlight sighting of the morning was the exciting showing of a pod of four Killer Whales heading up the Strait near the far horizon.   Killer Whales or Orcas are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world's most powerful predators. They feast on marine mammals such as seals, sea lions and also on fish, squid, and seabirds.

Watching the whales blow as they travelled along the horizon and then dive below the surface, only to rise again in a few moments was awesome!!!

Harlequin Ducks, Common Goldeneye, Barrows Goldeneye, Common Mergansers,Red-breasted Mergansers, Pacific Loons, Common Loon and Horned Grebes were see just off shore throughout the morning. A Pigeon Guillemot, several Marbled Murrelets and Ancient Murrelets along with hundreds of Common Murre were seen further off shore. A Greater Yellowlegs was roosting on the gravel bar with two Black-bellied Plovers. A Black Oystercatcher was resting on a big rock giving us good views and a flock of six Black Turnstones flew low over the water. Along the road we spotted a large number of singing House Finch, White-crowned Sparrows, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos  and Pine Siskins. 
 

                Common Goldeneye: Ralph Hocken Photo.  

                                   
                                                              Belted Kingfisher: Ralph Hocken Photo.

Seventeen birders saw and heard the following forty- seven bird species:
Mallard
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Barrows Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Pigeon Guillemot
Marbled Murrelet
Ancient Murrelet
Common Murre
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Pelagic Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Belted Kingfisher
Greater Yellowlegs
Black-bellied Plover
Black Oystercatcher
Black Turnstone
Mew Gull
California Gull
Thayer's Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Eurasian-collared Dove
Rock Pigeon
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Northwestern Crow
Common Raven
Anna’s Hummingbird
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
House Finch
Dark-eyed Junco
Pine Siskin
House Sparrow 

Three mammal species:
Killer Whale
Harbour Seals
Sea Lions                    
                                                                                         
                                                       Greater Yellowlegs: Ralph Hocken Photo. 

The Tuesday bird walk on January 20, 2015 will be going to the Plummer Road side of the Englishman River in Parksville. 

Good birding
Neil Robins
Parksville.

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