The Backyard's Weekly Bird Walk locations are found in the Backyard Bird Report at the very end of the most recent report. Any cancellations will be posted here by 8am the day of the walk. Our first bird walks of the year are going out on Sunday February 4th and Tuesday February 6th. Locations will be posted to our next Bird Report.

Sunday 23 October 2016

Nanaimo bird report, October 23, 2016


To report your sightings phone the Store at 250-390-3669

Or e-mail us at
Please remember, when reporting a sighting, to leave your name and phone number along with the date, the species and location of your sighting.

Sunday, October 23, 2016: 

The Sunday Bird Walk went to Nanoose Bay. The morning was cloudy with light rain showers.  A Northern Shrike was perched at the top of the tall snag near the parking area. A Northern Harrier flew over head.  A Western Grebe, a Brandt’s Cormorant, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Surf Scoters and many White-winged Scoters were seen on the Strait of Georgia. Two Chestnut-backed Chickadees were seen next to the trail.

Northern Harrier: Ralph Hocken Photo.

Ten birders including a visiting bird from the United Kingdom saw and heard the following thirty-three species: 

Snow Geese

Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Greater Scaup
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Common Merganser
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Western Grebe
Pelagic Cormorant

Brandt’s Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier

Northern Shrike

Mew Gull
California Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Northwestern Crow
Common Raven

Brewers Blackbird
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
American Robin
European Starling
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch

Tuesday, October 18: 

The Tuesday bird walk went to the Brant viewing platform in Qualicum Beach and Lot Ten off Highway 19a and Kinkade Road in Qualicum Beach. The morning started cloudy with light rain showers and calm winds but the rain stopped, making for a pleasant walk.  We saw Black Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks on the Strait of Georgia--our first of the season.  Pacific Loons and Common Loons were plentiful on the strait. Black-bellied Plovers, Black Oystercatchers and Black Turnstones flew in close to shore giving us great views. We heard and then saw several Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Golden-crowned Kinglets throughout the morning.  Bewick’s Wrens and Pacific Wrens entertained us just off the trail. 

Long-tail Duck: Ralph Hocken Photo.

Thirteen birders saw and heard the following thirty-nine species:

Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe

Pelagic Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron

Bald Eagle
Black-bellied Plover
Black Oystercatcher
Black Turnstone
Mew Gull

Western Gull
California Gull
Thayer's Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Northern Flicker

Hairy Woodpecker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Northwestern Crow

Common Raven

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Brown Creeper

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Bewick’s Wren

Pacific Wren
Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Song Sparrow

Spotted Towhee

Dark-eyed Junco

Red Crossbill

American Goldfinch 

Golden-crowned Kinglet: Ralph Hocken Photo.

Monday, October 17:

“Rare Bird Alert”

A White-throated Sparrow was seen near the southwest corner parking lot, about 100 meters along the straight stretch of trail heading north, at Buttertubs Marsh, in Nanaimo.

Sunday, October 16: 

“Rare Bird Alert”

A Rock Wren was seen at Neck Point Park in Nanaimo.


Everyone is welcome to join us for a 2-3 hour bird walk on Sunday & Tuesday. We leave from the Store at 9 a.m. on Sunday Mornings and go to a different location in and around Nanaimo.  We leave from the Parksville Community Park at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday mornings and go to a different location in the Oceanside area.


The Tuesday bird walk on October 25, 2016 will be going to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville. Meet at the Parksville Community Park at parking lot near the Lions Club Kids Playground Park at 9:00 a.m. or at the main parking lot in Rathtrevor at about 9:10 a.m.


The Sunday bird walk on October 30, 2016 will be going to the Nanaimo River Estuary in south Nanaimo. Meet at the Birdstore at 9:00 a.m. or at the end of Raines Road off Cedar Road at about 9:30 a.m.


Reporting Collared Canada Goose Sightings

Hello fellow birders:

As part of the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Bird Banding project, we banded and collared 200 Canada Geese around Nanaimo last June.  This banding effort is part of an undergraduate research project by VIU biology student Stew Pearce, with main objective to determine the abundance, distribution and movement of geese in the Nanaimo area.  The geese have white neck collars with black lettering that ranges from 000P to 199P.

We are conducting regular surveys to track geese, but we hope to increase the number of collared goose sightings by encouraging birders and members of the public to report their sightings through our project website -  There is a simple form to fill out to report sightings.  We are interested in any sightings of these geese, whether in the Nanaimo area or elsewhere, including the number of “uncollared” geese they may associated with.

We appreciate your help with this project.  Feel free to contact us off list to find out more about the project or results so far (

Eric Demers, Ph.D., R.P.Bio.
Biology Department
B.Sc. Degree Advisor
Vancouver Island University

     Good birding

       Neil Robins

6314 Metral Drive
Nanaimo B.C.
Phone: 250-390-3669
Fax: 250-390-1633

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