Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sage Thrasher

What a treat to see this fantastic bird! Guy Monty and Nolan were birding the Nanaimo River Estuary when they found it. Lori and I were there within the hour and didn't have to wait long until it popped up in a bush. We followed at a safe distance for an hour and enjoyed watching it preen and feed. There were also 2 Mountain Bluebird (female) and a Say's Phoebe in the immediate vacinity and a flyover Osprey. Not a bad twitch!
Say's Phoebe

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Brant Festival Big Day Challenge 2007

At 04:50am on the 1st April Lori and I waited for the arrival of our other team (The Bush Pishing Pirates) members, Ryan and Andrew Cathers of Nanaimo. Our big day challenge was to start at 05:00 and I was feeling anxious that the Great Horned Owl that was calling would stop before we could count it. And it did! Luckily, we waited only a few anxious minutes until it called again. With only about two hours until dawn we ziz-zagged our we through Parksville and Errington to pick-up another three species of Owl. We then headed to Legacy Marsh and spent the next eight hours birding, ending our day at 15:00 at Columbia Beach. We fell short of the winning team who managed to get 117 species but were all very happy with our efforts. We ended the day with 93 species and an award. For the biggest miss!! Yes, we dipped on Belted Kingfisher! Oh well. There's always next year!

The Bush Pishers Species List: 93

Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Red-necked Grebe
Horned Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Mute Swan
Trumpeter Swan
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Northern Pintail
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Harlequin Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Common Goldeneye
Barrow's Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Common Merganser
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ruffed Grouse
California Quail
Ring-necked Pheasant
Virginia Rail
American Coot
Black Oystercatcher
Greater Yellowlegs
Mew Gull
California Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull
Thayer's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Pigeon Guillemot
Rock Pigeon
Western Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Rufous Hummingbird
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Bewick's Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Varied Thrush
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Steller's Jay
Northwestern Crow
Common Raven
European Starling
House Sparrow
Hutton's Vireo
Purple Finch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Spotted Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird