Skip to main content

NMT - February 2009

February 2009
Species list: 21 / Distance travelled: 113 kilometres

            This month I managed to almost double the kilometres that I had ridden in January, which included my first attempt at a much longer ride. The month started off well, with four Pine Grosbeak! I was driving home from work on the 4th, when I spotted them on Despard Avenue in Parksville. Being only two minutes away from home I phoned Lori and asked her to get my bike out, quick! A fast turn around in the driveway and Lori, Nolan and I were heading back together. We got to them just as they took off from a tree beside the road. No matter, the birds had been seen.
            Next was a 19 kilometre ride in my local area as a warm up for my first long jaunt. On the 14th February, I headed out to south Nanaimo, a 57 kilometre trip. I added three new species before getting to Nanaimo River Estuary, where I intended to finish. I walked the estuary for an hour and just as I was going to throw the towel in on the day, a Short-eared Owl floated over one of the river channels. This injected some fuel into my bones, and I made a phone call home to let Lori know I was going to try riding a little further. Two minutes later, I bumped into fellow birder Bernard Schroeder, who informed me that there was a Pied-billed Grebe in the river channel. The grebe was in the bag and number 100 for the NMT year. I peddled my way through the back roads of south Nanaimo, ending up at Morden Road. It was here I began to look for a reported rare owl. It was quiet, then out of the blue, the American Robins started making a racket. I looked above me and there on a snag, sat my target bird: a Northern Hawk Owl! Having seen and photographed this northern rarity, I promptly collapsed and Lori drove out to pick me up.
            The following day, Lori and I headed out on a ride to some local fields where we added American Kestrel, Wilson’s Snipe, Hutton’s Vireo and Northern Pygmy-Owl. A few days later, Guy Monty phoned me with an address in Parksville where I could find an Anna’s Hummingbird at a feeder; and I did. This was a great relief; though they are not rare, they are seldom seen in this area. My last real attempt this month was on the 21st when I added seven new species in and around Parksville. Best of all was a Gyr Falcon at Parksville Community Park.
Hutton's Vireo


Popular posts from this blog

Pied-billed Grebe

Silly o'clock and a drive to Summerset + a 2 1/2 hour watch at Ham Wall RSPB Reserve produced good looks at my first British P ied-billed Grebe. We turned up just after eight and just in time to miss this North American mega by  minutes! Little Grebes kept us on our toes but we had to wait it out until about 10:40 am when it appeared from the corner where it had disappeared. There was a nice crowd here, all remaining hopeful and humorous during this very cold vigil. This little beauty made a b-line to open water, affording all great views. Bonus bird at this site was a  Great White Egret .

Stains Moor

Today I checked the Staines Reservoir for some reported birds including Black Turn and Ruff. My target birds were not relocated but I did get another year bird: Wheatear . This was across the road; perched on a fence post. After an hour I headed to Staines Moor , a site I have never been to before. Good directional signs were non existent and I ended up asking the locals. It takes about 25 minutes from parking to actually getting onto the moor. This route is basically two public footpaths. It is definitely worth it and is a fantastic site with good visibility in all directions.The River Colne meanders through; making it very attractive and good for wildlife.  One of the features here that really stands out is the amount of yellow meadow ant hills; a favored perching spot for Wheatear I here. Birds seen included Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Linnet, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Robin, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Black-headed Gull, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Kestrel, Hobby, Green

Kefalonia -Greece 2015

K efalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands, (700 sq km) and is located off the west coast of Greece. Though, in recent times, it is most notably known as the location for Captain Corellis Mandolin; it also has lots of history, interesting geography and endangered fauna.  As it sits in the earthquake zone it has seen lots of changes, especially the 1953 earthquake which badly affected all but the northern town of Fiskado. Mount Ainos dominates the landscape and at 1628 meters can be seen from most areas. One of the most famous residents is the endangered Loggerhead Turtle which breed on the southern beaches.   What follows is a short trip report highlighting my casual observations from 23rd August – 30th August 2015. Though this was not a birding holiday, I did manage a few morning sorties in various areas and hope that this will give some indication of what to expect. Kephalonia is not a ‘birding destination’ but for those of you who visit, a little effort will afford