Skip to main content

NMT - May 2009

May 2009
Species list: 25 / Distance travelled: 194 kilometres

            This month started with a 40 kilometre ride to Nanaimo, which added 10 new species including Bullock’s Oriole, House Wren, Osprey and American Bittern. More birds turned up after that, though Lori and I took a little time out to explore the north island. By the 17th I was back on the road with another bird to peddle after. Guy Monty had found a Whimbrel at Nanoose Bay Estuary, which I very much needed, not only for the NMT challenge, but a bird I had yet to see on Vancouver Island. Another hours ride, and after a few frantic moments, I located it. Lori and I did, however, have family commitments that day so I stashed my bike at Guy and Donna’s house and headed into Nanaimo.
            The following day I got up early to drive back to Guy’s place in Nanoose to pick up my bike. En-route I made a detour and stopped in at the Englishman River Estuary to find three Blue-winged Teal feeding in the mud. Ten minutes later, I was at Guy and Donna’s house, I picked up my bike and relayed the news. Guy was out of his chair and heading for his own chariot, as I packed mine in the car. “See you down there." Another ten minute drive home, and then back on the bike. Will the madness ever end? As my ride was a lot shorter from Parksville than Guy’s trek from Nanoose I arrived first. Yep, teal were still there, good. Then I spotted something else. Behind the teal, feeding in the mud was a godwit! Any godwit on the island is a good bird. I quickly put my spotting scope together, focused and wow! I was not expecting this; it was a Hudsonian Godwit! The first confirmed record for this species in the Parksville and Qualicum checklist area! I snapped some record photos but the bird flew. It was a long fifteen minutes until I caught sight of Guy riding down the trail. He looked at the teal, then looked at me, my face obviously told the story. “What did you get?” he chuckled. I showed him the camera. “What!” We spent about three hours searching the estuary without any luck. We did, however, find a Short-billed Dowitcher. Luckily, Guy only had to wait a day to see the godwit; it was fortunately relocated at Rathtrevor Beach.
Hudsonian Godwit


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