Short-eared Owl: Ralph Hocken Photo.
The Tuesday Bird Walk went to the Englishman River Estuary, Shelly Road side in Parksville. Eleven birders saw and heard fifty-four species of birds during a sunny fall morning. It turned out to be a great morning to observe raptors in the area. We saw a Short-eared Owl flying east high over the estuary. There was a Peregrine Falcon perched in a conifer tree and we watched it through the spotting scopes for about five minutes. As we were watching some Northern Pintails fly over the Estuary another Short-eared Owl flew in low to the ground and began hunting over the fields. A Red-tailed Hawk flew over us. A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew out and quickly back into the bushes along the trail. A Wilson's Snipe made a quick appearance and disappeared into the bushes. There were big flocks of Bushtits and Pine Siskins flying about though out the walk. Pacific Loons, Surf Scoters, White-winged Scoters and Black Scoters were bobbing in the water.