Skip to main content

Northern Mockingbird

Yesterday our friends Jon and Jenny Carter came over to Parksville for a visit and while poking around on Little Mountain for Northern Pygmy-Owl, Jon mentioned that he had heard about a Northern Mockingbird. Initially I thought he meant the one that had been seen on the mainland. However, the bird he was referring to was a bird in Nanaimo! This was news to me as I had not seen it posted on the BCVI Bird forum or heard any rumor. It turns out that this bird had been staked out for a month and was posted at a different site.

Anyhow, this morning I met Jon at the Nanaimo River Estuary for some birding before going to check on this rare bird. The estuary was fairly quiet with no sightings of either Northern Harrier or Short-eared Owl. We did get 11 Western Meadowlark which is always a treat. On arrival at the mockingbird site, which is at the junction of Dumont Road and Eylash Road next to Brannen Lake, there was no sign of the bird. We walked this country road looking across into farm fields until two other birders arrived. Within minutes we located the bird which was hunting from some posts. We watched the bird for over an hour, while it made its way around and behind farm buildings, occasionally staying tucked up in some trees and preening. I am not sure how many records there are for BC, but this was a first for me for both Vancouver Island and British Columbia. I didn't manage to get very good photos but acceptable record shots non the less.


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