Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Taking a peep at Clover Point

The recent report of a possible Common Eider at Clover Point in Victoria couldn't have come at a better time. I needed to exchange a Christmas present at Mountain Equipment co-op anyway, and this was the perfect excuse for a combined trip. Jon Carter was visiting Victoria with his wife Jenny on the 27th December 2010 when he spotted this possible rarity and alerted BCVIBIRDS.
After 'finally' finding a parking spot and exchanging my fleece, Lori and I headed for Clover Point. We scanned each side of point but were unable to relocate the bird. No matter, we had fun anyway, and I spent some time watching Sanderling, Dunlin and Harlequin Duck in the sunshine.


Harlequin Duck

We then travleld from Clover Point to Oak Bay where we added a few more shorebirds including; Greater Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plover, Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Surfbird (12) and Killdeer. At Oak Bay Marina Lori relaxed and read her book while I watched a Hooded Merganser preening and feeding close to some rocks.

Hooded Merganser
With our tummy's rumbling we headed for the Penny Farthing  for some wonderful and filling pub food. With time ticking we made our way back to Parksville, making a quick stop at Swan Lake. Here we found the feeders full of Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird and Spotted Towhee. The lake held Ring-necked Duck, Canada Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant and Great Blue Heron. Just before leaving I snapped a shot of a Song Sparrow which looked really cool on top of some cattails. It was only when I got home that I noticed that this individual had been coloured banded on the left leg: orange above and pink bellow. I will report this bird and hopefully find out a little more. 

Song Sparrow (colour banded)

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