Sunday, February 1, 2009

January Birding

Ugh...I haven't updated this blog in quite some time, even though ive gone out birding quite a bit. Well January is now over and I will just combine all the Highlights of the last few weeks instead of separating them.

Jan 21st.

After the cosmic letdown of not being able to photograph the little Saw-Whet Owl I found in Chilliwack, I was lucky enough to find another one. This time at Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver. It started out as a chase to find a Great Gray Owl that had been reported from Lighthouse Park. Lighthouse park is a large park of Second Growth forest and rocky shoreline. There really is no good habitat for a Great Gray Owl. I wasn't expecting to find it, and I didnt. I spent about an hour or so searching around the point where it was seen and photographed.

There was nothing of interest, and I wondered how that Owl ended up here in the first place. I moved on to Whytecliff park, hoping for atleast a Black Oystercatcher or some sort of Rock shorebird. Again, nothing of real interest.

it was already noon and I was getting tired of birding North Vancouver. It was only the Owl that brought me out there in the first place. I had planned on going to Delta to see a Golden Eagle that had been seen for the last few days. On a side note, the Golden Eagle was found undearneath a power pole suffering from Electrocution. Last I heard it was still at a Wildlife Rescue facility for Raptors. Hopefully it survives.

Even after 3 hours of lackluster birding, I was not about go give up. I went to Maplewood Flats in hope I could find something decent. The feeders were busy with birds, at one point a Towhee, House Finch, and Song Sparrow shared the feeder, only to be replaced by a Red-winged Blackbird. Junco's, Chickadees, and Pine Siskin were also plentiful.

From Finished

From Finished

From Finished

Leaving the feeders I walked through the silent forests, I checked the evergreens for signs of Owls. I found whitewash under a few trees, but no Owls. I was about ready to give up, when I heard a commotion about 500 feet off the trail. Some Chickadees were raising quite a racket, even an American Robin had gotten involved. I bushwacked my way to where all the noise was coming from. And I found this little guy.

From Birds

My day turned out not to be a waste afterall.

Jan 25tth

Jan 25th was the day I went after the Golden Eagle, at this point I handn't found out about the electrocution. There seemed to be alot of birders out after the owl. They were pulled over all over the streets of Delta scanning distant trees for the Golden Eagle. I had a few moments where I thought I had found the bird, only to be staring at Juvenile Bald Eagles. I picked up a few good birds, an American Kestrel on 41B St, I found our resident Willet fairly easy. And I got a few good photo's of a couple birds at Reifel. At the end of they day I was at 95 species for the month, with only one more day of birding in January to go.

From Finished Product

From Finished Product

From Finished Product

From Finished Product

Jan 31st.

Jan 31st I set out to make it to a hundred species for the month. I started off at the White Rock Pier. Probably the best place to get Long-tailed Duck, and if you're lucky all 3 scoters at once. It was very windy, and I only got the 2 common scoter species, and I also couldn't locate any Long-tails.

My next location was Redwood Park to pick up a Pileated Woodpecker, and any forest species I had missed over the month. I easily found the Pileated, and added a Stellers Jay as well.

From Finished

It was already getting late, and because of the weather I knew most places would be crowded with joggers and dog walkers. I arrived at Blackie spit, and quickly scanned the tidal inlet. I was lucky and the resident Long-billed Curlew and his 6 man Marbled Godwit posse were easily viewable.

My next stop was Elgin Heritage park for Long-billed Dowitchers. I found them quite easily, a couple Dunlin had joined them.

From Finished

The dowitchers were my 100th species for the month, but i still had some time to kill so I decided to drive over to Boundary Bay for a few more species. Along 72nd Street is a Transfer station that attracts alot of Gulls. There is a field right beside it that usually floods and the Gulls come over to bathe after feeding at the dump. Its probably the best place to hone ID skills as you can get pretty close to them and theres always new gulls coming and going.

I managed to spot a first year Glaucous Gull, as well as one pure Western Gull. I saw an interesting looking gull that I tried to turn into a Kumliens Iceland Gull. It didn't have the right features really, but the wingtip had long streaks of white on it, unlike a Thayer's. I wish I could've got a picture, sadly I don't have a digiscoping set up. My guess is it was just a Thayer's with an abberant plumage or something.

My last stop was 96th Street for the Gyr Falcon that sits atop a radio tower. I was lucky and scoped him out right away. My month list total was now 105. Not bad for January. My final species list is as follows. My only lifer was the Slaty-backed. Hopefully in February I can make it to the interior for the Lesser Black-backed Gull.

January 2009 List

1 Snow Goose
2 Brant
3 Canada Goose
4 Mute Swan
5 Trumpeter Swan
6 Gadwall
7 Eurasian Wigeon
8 American Wigeon
9 Mallard
10 Northern Shoveler
11 Northern Pintail
12 Green-winged Teal
13 Ring-necked Duck
14 Greater Scaup
15 Lesser Scaup
16 Harlequin Duck
17 Surf Scoter
18 White-winged Scoter
19 Bufflehead
20 Common Goldeneye
21 Barrow's Goldeneye
22 Hooded Merganser
23 Common Merganser
24 Red-breasted Merganser
25 Ruffed Grouse
26 Common Loon
27 Pied-billed Grebe
28 Horned Grebe
29 Double-crested Cormorant
30 Pelagic Cormorant
31 Great Blue Heron
32 Black-crowned Night-Heron
33 Bald Eagle
34 Sharp-shinned Hawk
35 Cooper's Hawk Reifel Refuge BC
36 Northern Goshawk
37 Red-tailed Hawk
38 Rough-legged Hawk
39 American Kestrel
40 Gyrfalcon
41 American Coot
42 Sandhill Crane
43 Black-bellied Plover
44 Killdeer
45 Black Oystercatcher
46 Spotted Sandpiper
47 Greater Yellowlegs
48 Willet
49 Lesser Yellowlegs
50 Long-billed Curlew
51 Marbled Godwit
52 Black Turnstone
53 Sanderling
54 Dunlin
55 Long-billed Dowitcher
56 Wilson's Snipe
57 Mew Gull
58 Ring-billed Gull
59 Western Gull
60 California Gull
61 Herring Gull
62 Thayer's Gull
63 Slaty-backed Gull
64 Glaucous-winged Gull
65 Glaucous Gull
66 Rock Pigeon
67 Great Horned Owl
69 Belted Kingfisher
70 Downy Woodpecker
71 Hairy Woodpecker
72 Northern Flicker
73 Pileated Woodpecker
74 Northern Shrike
75 Steller's Jay
76 Northwestern Crow
77 Common Raven
78 Black-capped Chickadee
79 Chestnut-backed Chickadee
80 Bushtit
81 Red-breasted Nuthatch
82 Brown Creeper
83 Bewick's Wren
84 Winter Wren
85 Marsh Wren
86 Golden-crowned Kinglet
87 American Robin
88 Varied Thrush Stanley
89 European Starling
90 Bohemian Waxwing
91 Cedar Waxwing Stanley
92 Spotted Towhee
93 Fox Sparrow
94 Song Sparrow
95 White-crowned Sparrow
96 Golden-crowned Sparrow
97 Dark-eyed Junco
98 Red-winged Blackbird
99 Brewer's Blackbird
100 Purple Finch
101 House Finch
102 Red Crossbill
103 Pine Siskin
104 American Goldfinch
105 House Sparrow

105 Species
1 New Species

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