The Backyard's Weekly Bird Walks will be resuming on Tuesday September 5th and Sunday September 10th. Locations and more information in the most recent post.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Nanaimo bird report, September 25, 2011

Pink-footed Shearwater: Ralph Hocken Photo.



Please remember, when reporting a sighting to leave your name and phone number along with the date, the species and location of your sighting.

To report your sightings phone the Store at 250-390-3669 or e-mail us at

We are happy to report that Ann Thompson is home from the hospital. We look forward to having you join us on the birdwalks soon, Ann.

Sunday September 25:
The Sunday bird walk went to French Creek. The bird walk was cut short by the windy, wet weather.
Seven birders saw and heard the following eight species.
Mallard, Common Merganser, Black Oystercatcher, Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Eurasian Collared-dove, House Finch and Rock Pigeons.

Wednesday September 21:
Three Broad-winged Hawks, six Red-winged Hawks, over three hundred Turkey Vultures, two Peregrine Falcons, Cooper's Hawks and Sharp-shinned Hawks were seen at Rocky Point near Victoria.

A family of Purple Martins was seen near the nest boxes at the foot of Jacks Road in Lantzville.

Tuesday September 20:
The Tuesday bird walk went to Rathtrevor Provincial Park in Parksville. The morning was sunny and warm but a little chilly in the forest. The winds were calm and the water on the Strait of Georgia was smooth like glass. The highlight of the morning was spotting a Parasitic Jaeger who was harassing a Glaucous-winged Gull. The Jaeger stopped to rest on the water giving us all good long looks at him through the scopes. After about ten minutes and fairly close to shore, the Jaeger chased another Gull putting on a spectacular display for us.
Twenty-four birders saw and heard the following forty-three species:
Canada Geese, American Wigeon, Mallard, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Common Merganser, Pacific Loon, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Merlin, Greater Yellowlegs, Parasitic Jaeger, Bonaparte's Gull, Mew Gull, California Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Common Murre, Marbled Murrelet, Rhinoceros Auklet, Northern Flicker, Northwestern Crow ,
Common Raven, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, European Starling, American Pipit, McGillivray’s Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Purple Finch, House Finch and American Goldfinch.

Monday September 19:
Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Semipalmated Plover, California Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, Northern Flicker, Northwestern Crow, Common Raven, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, American Robin, European Starling, Spotted Towhee, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, House Finch and American Goldfinch were seen at the Plummer Road side of the Englishman River Estuary in Parksville.

Monday September 12:
Eighteen Turkey Vultures, one Bald Eagle, eleven Sharp-shinned Hawks, one Cooper's Hawk, one Red-tailed Hawk, one American Kestrel, one Merlin, ninety-five Sandhill Cranes, twenty Vaux's Swift, one Rufous Hummingbird, one Anna's Hummingbird, six Violet-green Swallows,
sixty Red-necked Phalarope, one Common Loon, ninety-eight Band-tailed Pigeons, nine American Pipits, twelve Cedar Waxwings, eleven Yellow-rumped Warblers, four Red Crossbills, twenty-six American Goldfinch and twenty-two Pine Siskin were seen from the Beechey Head lookout at East Sooke Regional Park on the southwest end of Vancouver island.

Arrowsmith Naturalist Meeting
Monday, September 26 at 7:30 pm.
General Meeting @ Springwood Middle School, Parksville

Nanoose Naturalists Meeting
Thursday, October 13 at 7 pm.
@ The Library Centre along Northwest Bay Road, Nanoose Bay.
Everyone is invited to join us for a 2-3 hour bird walk on the Sunday and Tuesday mornings. We leave from the Store at 9 A.M. Sunday Mornings and go to a different location in and around Nanaimo and from the Parksville Beach Community Park at 9 A.M. on Tuesdays and go to different areas in and around the Oceanside area.

The Tuesday Bird Walk on September 27 will be going to Columbia Beach. We will meet at Parksville Community Park at the parking lot near the Lions Playground at 9:00 A.M. or at the parking area off Admiral Tryon Blvd. (turn onto Columbia Drive off Highway 19a,and then turn right onto Admiral Tryon Blvd.)
The Sunday Bird Walk on October 02 will be going to Neck Point Park in Nanaimo. We will meet at the Birdstore at 9:00 A.M. or at the parking lot at Neck Point off Hammond Bay Road at about 9:20A.M.

Sunday September 18:

Ucluelet Pelagic Trip Results:

On Sunday, 96 birders, including six birders from our area, and biologists board the M.V. Frances Barkley and we left the Government Warf at 7 am. We made a quick stop at one of the fish processing plants to take on 1600 pounds of Hake for attracting seabirds. The water in Ucluelet harbour was calm, there was no rain and just a light breeze. We motored out of the harbour and meet the open ocean, and then all hell broke loose. Three meter swells were coming in from multiple directions; we were going to see pelagic seabirds, but first the Pacific was going to test our resolve for the first hour of the trip. Once we got past the ground swell the water started to flatten out considerably and around 25 km from shore the sailing was quite comfortable. The trip would definitely been cancelled if not for the size and seaworthiness of the Frances Barkley and her crew.
Mike Boyd and I took turns throwing Hake bits to the gulls as soon as we left the dock and we were escorted out to the 37 km mark by a cloud of hunger California Gulls. Once we were past 30 km from shore, we started to pour small amounts of shark oil that had been given to me from Tom Plath. This oil really brought in the Northern Fulmars, Shearwaters and Black-footed Albatross. I had also prepared blocks of frozen shrimp and sardines that were thrown overboard and slowly released small bits of food. All of the chumming really paid off and we were able to draw in large numbers of pelagic birds often with in meters of the ship.
Michelle Force, Russell Cannings and others manned the handheld radios and worked hard to share what was being seen on each of the decks. We had allot of very good birders on the ship and they were all really great about spotting birds and letting everyone on board know where the birds were. I would like to thank everyone for contributing to the success of the trip. I would also like to thank Neil Robins for helping to spread the word about the trip via the Nanaimo bird alert.

I had great time and I finally saw a Skua! For many people this was their first pelagic trip and it was wonderful to hear so many people saying that they had gotten 9, 10 or 11 lifers that day. There were many smiling birders on the ship.

WildResearch is considering doing another pelagic.
Check the WildResearch website--

There are likely other sightings that were made that I am unaware, but here is the list.
Black-footed Albatross: Ralph Hocken Photo.

Birds seen Offshore:

Tufted Puffin- 1. Flew right over the ship- a real crowd pleaser.
Pigeon Guillemot- common near shore.
Cassin's Auklet- 2.
Buller's Shearwater- 6. These birds came in at 32 km, checked out the ship and then left.
Sooty Shearwater- 100's. First birds were seen within 1 km of shore and became come by 5 kms from shore.
Pink-footed Shearwater- 100's, first ones were seen at 15 km and this species was near the ship for the rest of the day.
Short-tailed Shearwater- 4. Possibly more around, but at least 4 were positively identified.
Black-footed Albatross- 8- 10 landed within 70m of the ship with another 12- 20 fly bys within 200m of the ship; most were seen at 30- 37 km from shore.
Northern Fulmar- 100s, we started seeing them close to shore and their numbers kept building as we travelled off shore. We saw all of the colour morphs, and had a least fifty at all times on the water next to the ship for 3 hours at the 37 km mark.
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel-10-12. First seen at 37 km.
Leach's Storm-Petrel- 1.
Red-necked Phalarope- 10- 12. Seen close to the ship.
Red Phalarope- 2. Seen on the way back.
South Polar Skua- 10- 13, a surprisingly large number of this species from the 20 km to 37 km.
Pomarine Jaeger- 18, a handful came in close to the ship.
Long-tailed Jaeger- 1, fly by.
Parasitic Jaeger- 5. Surprisingly few Parasitic.
California Gull- 1,000s,
Glaucous-winged Gull- numerous inshore, relatively scarce offshore.
Thayer's Gull- 5.
Herring Gull- 5-10.
Sabine's Gull- 30 pasted in front of the ship between 27-37 km.
Black-legged Kittiwake- 1. Adult fly by.
Northern Pintail- 50, 4 different flocks flying well offshore, with the
Green-winged Teal and the Mallard.
Green-winged Teal-1.
Mallard- 1.

On shore or within a 5 km of shore:
Common Murre- 75. Most were within 10 km of shore.
Rhinoceros Auklet- 40. Most were within 10 km of shore.
Pigeon Guillemot- common near shore.
Pacific Loon- 8.
Common Loon- 1
Bald Eagle
Peregrine Falcon- 1, departing from Ucluelet.
Northwestern Crow
Belted Kingfisher- 1.
Black Turnstone
White-winged Scoter- 6-8.
Surf Scoter- 2-4.
Pelagic Cormorant- 15-20.
Brant's Cormorant 18-20.
Double-crested Cormorant- 10.

Marine Mammals:
Stellar's Sealion- 4, in Ucluelet harbour
Humpback Whale- 6-8, at about 30 km, we watch them for 20 min on the way out and
saw them again on the way in to port.

And... one Sunfish.
And not a single Heermann's Gull or any passerines offshore.

Paul Levesque

Good birding
Neil Robins

THE BACKYARD Wildbird & Nature Store
6314 Metral Drive, Nanaimo, BC V9T 2L8

No comments: