Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Have binoculars will travel

Barn Swallow

Last weekend I was excited to be able to stay local. It seemed like I had been on road trip after road trip, and while I love travelling through this beautiful province there's something to be said about relaxing at home after a long day of birding. Not to mention the comfort of a warm bed instead of the cramped backseat of a Toyota Camry. Of course all this changed Thursday night. 

A White-faced Ibis was reported from Wasa Lake near Cranbrook, also Black-necked Stilts were seen the next day, as well as Forster's Tern had been observed at their only breeding location; Duck Lake. 
Now seeing as I had only 2 more weekends left in May before I have to go to California for 2 weeks it seemed like those close to home locales would have to wait a little longer. 

For once I was up early..really early, I guess I'm starting to get in the swing of things, I only hit the snooze once. It was nice to drive those first two hours of Highway 1(easily the most boring part of any drive) out of the way before sunrise. When the sun did come up I was already up into Manning Park. Again as per tradition I had already seen two Black Bears...well one Black and one Cinnamon. 

Black Bear


Cinnamon Black Bear-Manning Park


At Manning Lodge the birds were singing like they were on Broadway. Townsend's Warblers gave a good show from the freshly leaved alders, Ruby-crowned Kinglets were scattered around the fir trees. I couldn't resist taking some pictures of The hordes of Columbian Ground Squirrels that have turned the picnic area into their own personal golf course. 

Lil' Fatty

Columbian Ground Squirrel

I pushed on knowing if I dawdled the sun would be breaking through the clouds and start to put these birds to rest. In Princeton I checked my email to see that a Sage Thrasher had been reported at Iona. Blast! This seemed to happen every time I left Vancouver, some crazy rare bird would be reported, and I would have to tell myself not to regret my decisions. 

Nighthawk Rd. Near Osoyoos was sparrow central. Savannah, Vesper, and my first Brewer's were all calling from the Sagebrush. 

Vesper Sparrow

Further up Richters Pass I had a Singing Lark Sparrow. At Spotted Lake I had 3 Willson's Phalaropes twirling around in the water below. A Rock Wren sang from the outcrop of the highway, and a gorgeous Bullocks Oriole flew over Spotted Lake into some shrubs. To the grassland across highway 3 my ears pricked up when I heard an insect like trill. It sounded like a Savannah Sparrow, but a little different, my initial thought was Grasshopper Sparrow!

I ran across the highway and down the embankment, praying for the bird to call again, It did, and flew up onto the power line...I fixed my binoculars on it but the way the sun was hitting I couldn't get a good look, all I could see was that its breast wasn't streaked like a Vesper or Savannah Sparrow. I fumbled with my scope to get a look but by the time I had it ready, I looked back up at the wire and the bird was gone. I assumed it flew back across the highway to Spotted Lake. I dashed back and spent another 20 minutes waiting, but sadly I couldn't locate it. Was it a Grasshopper Sparrow? I don't know, its one of the few Okanagan species that's always eluded me, so I have not the experience to know if it was or not. And with the sun now fully beating down, perhaps i just had some sort of hopeful delusion mixed with wishful thinking.

I didn't make many stops after Spotted Lake as all bird activity had ceased with the 32 degree weather. I did however make a few stops to check flooded fields, and shallow ponds in hopes of Stilts. Dianne Cooper one of my birding spies texted me she was looking at 4 Black-necked Stilts at Wasa Lake, I was just about in Creston and I figured I would have time to get the Forster's Tern and book it to Wasa for the Stilts/ 

And that would turn out to be a mistake, because even though I grew up in Cranbrook somehow the fact that it is an hour later than Vancouver. Doh. 

The Creston Valley Management Area was pretty quiet. The absence of waterbirds was odd. Yellow Warblers incessantly sang from the willow trees, and a real Western Wood Pewee was flycatching from the Cottonwoods. 

I drove down Kootenay River Road. There were reports that a small puddle had become a magnet for shorebirds, including some Stilts. On the way I came across this guy.

What a brilliant belly
This Western Painted Turtle was just chilling in the middle of the road, maybe sunning himself. I figured I best put him down in the grass before someone else came driving by and wasn't as considerate as me. Off on the grass I hoped he would move on to greener pastures..literally. 

The small puddle in the Farm field lacked the Stilts I wanted but it still hosted a number of wader. 2 Solitary Sandpipers my first of the year stood at the edge, while Least Sandpipers hung out in the dried up mud. Wilson's Phalaropes and Long-billed Dowitchers rounded out the shorebird troupe. 

On to Duck Lake. Channel Road, the road that leads 7 kilometers to Duck Lake was pretty rough and I'm lucky I didn't bottom out. The sun was starting to dip behind the tallest mountains when I finally made it to the end of Channel Road. I expected to be surrounded by Forster's Terns, but as I scanned the Lake, and the Marsh, I realized it didn't look good. I asked another birder if he had seen any but he said he hadn't. 

Sora's started calling as it sunset became dusk, and no Forster's terns appeared. Red-necked Grebes were making their awkward calls from out on the water, while Eared Grebes were decked out in breeding plumage from the marsh. It seemed hopeless but I remembered how I had seen Forster's Terns from a pullout on the highway to the Kootenay Lake ferry. There are a few places you can look down and scan Duck Lake and Kootenay Lake, so I hustled to the car to make one last furtive attempt. 

At the pullout I strained and squinted as the days last light faded, but there were no Terns on the lake, i had gone all out and bust, dejected I decided to drive to Cranbrook and sleep. That way I could do as much birding in Cranbrook before noon, then head back to Vancouver, making another stop in Creston for the Terns.

Day 2:

The older I get the harder it is to sleep in a car. I stretched and strained as i got out in the morning, ready for another whirlwind day. Elizabeth Lake at dawn was lovely and brought back many memories, how strange to be back in Cranbrook for only a few hours. Eared Grebes were very close to shore giving me great looks, while Yellow-headed Blackbirds machine like calls echoed through the marsh.

Parallel Grebes

Yellow-headed Blackbird

King of the Cattails 

At Wasa Lake, the pond the stilts had been seen in was vacant. They had probably kept on keeping on, I believe they move on to to Alberta where they next, but could also be offshoot from the population in Washington. Either way, this nice weather we have had really doesn't keep these birds down for long. 
It was beginning to look like this weekend was an egregious mistake, I moved on to the Irrigation fields where a Ross' Goose had been reported a day earlier.

The Irrigation ponds held a huge variety of waterfowl, basically everything but Ross's Goose, it was also light on shorebirds. I did however find a nice singing Clay-colored Sparrow singing from a fence. This has always been the best location for me to find Clay's. Shortly after I heard the mournful call of a Long-billed Curlew. One touched down in a field of flowers right next to the road. 

Long-billed Curlew

My last stop before I had to make the journey back home was Reade Lake. This year it had already hosted a handful of rarities including the only Tufted Duck seen in BC this year, I'm still kicking myself for not chasing that bird. I was here because I had heard reports of Stilt and Ross's Goose a week prior. It was a last ditch effort because I had all but written off these birds sticking around for any length of time. 

So when I saw the group of Snow Geese at the far side of the lake my heart skipped a beat, because if the Snow Geese had stuck around, maybe the Ross's had too!
I fixed my scope on the flock, there were 8 Snow Geese, one was a blue phase..and then there was a smaller goose, off to the side,  pure white face, small bill...small neck...it was a Ross's Goose!!!
I was filled with elation, maybe more so than any bird I've seen this year, because well...if I hadn't seen it this whole trip could easily been called a waste, but when it seemed hopeless there it was! Not only was it a good rarity for the big year, also a BC lifer.  What a weekend.




Monday, May 6, 2013

Big year what was I thinking?

No fires only Bluebirds

This weekend I had to choose between going for Black-necked Stilts and Sabines Gull in Vernon/Kelowna or driving even further in hopes of Tufted Duck, Black-necked Stilts and Ross's Goose in Cranbrook. I decided I would go with the closer choice, but it turns out I was a day late for both birds, and sadly I would've gotten Ross's and Stilt if I had gone to Cranbrook. Kind of a bummer... ok more than kind of.
Welp.

I left Vancouver at 5am, I decided to take the fraser canyon to Merritt because I'm tired of driving through Manning Park, also the drive from Spences Bridge to Merrit is one of my favourites.
I made a few stops along the way, the first being this campground just past Yale. There I had my first Nashville Warbler and Hammond's Flycatchers. Lots of Black-throated Grays as well.

At Skihist Park a provincial park I have driven by many times but never stopped I had Chipping Sparrow and Western Kingbird. In Spences Bridge I stopped at the campground along the river because I always find  Lewis's Woodpeckers, but this time nothing. The drive to Merrit was very nice but nothing new in the way of birds, I checked all the swallow colonies along the highway but every swallow was a Rough-winged, I guess the Bank Swallows weren't back  yet.

By the time I hit Merritt it was 12pm, and very Hot. I didn't stop til Kelowna.
In Kelowna I checked out Roberts Lake for the Pacific Golden Plover that had been reported a day earlier, alas it wasn't there. The sun was beating down on me as I scoped the entire lake in desperation. Nothing but those gorgeous Avocets, and 10 Least Sandpipers.
I hit up Alki lake aka the dump for Sabine's Gull, again I was a day late. So on to Otter Lake north of Vernon.

I had read the Stilts were in the flooded field just up from the edge of the lake. The area itself was certainly busy, Western Kingbirds chattered in every direction, the wetlands were full of Coots and almost every species of Duck, except the one I needed Blue-winged Teal. I found 3 Lesser Yellowlegs, but the area was devoid of Stilts. How can 14 birds show up and vanish in one day? Darn this perfect weather, it certainly doesn't come in handy sometimes.

After my third dip of the day i went back to Kelowna to check Roberts Lake again, the sun was almost all the way down as I scoped the shorebirds, hoping the Plover had come out of hiding from the heat of the afternoon, but there were only those 10 Least Sandpipers again. A sora started calling from the reeds in front of me and I decided I should probably head to Penticton so I could find a place to sleep. Before calling it a night I drove up the West Bench and heard my first Poorwill of the year.

Day 2 I spent the morning around White Lake, listening intently for Brewer's Sparrow, I didn't hear any but loads of Vesper Sparrows, Savannah and White-crowned. Along the Cliffs I had a ton of Warbler species including Wilson's Townsend's, Nashville and Yellow-rumped. A Black-headed Grosbeak called from the top of a Ponderosa Pine, I had enough time to spot it before it flew off. White-throated Swifts darted through the air while Western Bluebirds chatted all around.

On my way to Okanagan Falls I had House Wren, as well as a few Yellow Warblers. I kept on to The Vaseaux Cliffs, in hopes of Rock Wren, I didn't manage to find one but got one of my favourite birds, a brilliant Lewis' Woodpecker hawking from the dead snags on the hillside. From there I hit up Rd 22 where I had a gorgeous pair of Western Tanagers, flycatching in the midday sun, I spent a while trying to photograph them but everytime I fixed my lense on them they darted to another branch. A Warbling Vireo showed up for a few moments and retreated into the shrubs.

FOY Western Tanager

from Rd 22 I visited the Throne, at this temperature there was almost nothing out, the only birds brave enough to hang expose themselves in this sun were White-crowned Sparrows and Tree Swallows, and they obliged me for a few photos.








Mckinney Rd I was successful in getting Gray Flycatcher and Dusky Flycatcher. The Gray Flycatcher are always the easiest of the Okanagan specialties, just drive to km 10. and step out your car, listen, look, we are done here.

i took mckinny rd all the way to hwy 3, with stops here and there, but it was already 27 degrees, and the dead time for birds. It was a decent Weekend adding a few of the birds I needed in the Okanagan, I know most people loved the weather but I wouldn't mind if the 30 degree days waited until July when i start hiking the alpine for ptarmigan, cause there were times this weekend i wished I was chilling like this guy:








Ryan



Friday, May 3, 2013

Queen E

Nice weather can sometimes make for bland birding.
Today at Queen E i got up before sunrise and before work. Not much around at all, 1 Yellow Warbler, 2 Huttons Vireo and one poor Common Raven being attacked by at least 15 Northwestern Crows. Best part was photographing a nice male Gadwall at sunrise. This pond at the foot of Queen Elizabeth Park is probably the best place to photograph ducks, the foliage around the edges always gives off amazing reflections at sunrise and sunset.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

April Birding Totals


MONTH REPORT:  Species Totals
Report Details
Date range:Apr 1, 2013 - Apr 30, 2013Total # of Species:146
Total # of Checklists:43
Location(s):   CA-BC-4860 Georgia St; CA-BC-Burnaby-4543 Canada Way; CA-BC-Langley-20785 24 Ave; CA-BC-North Vancouver-2707 Woods Dr; CA-BC-Riondel - 49.6756x-116.8724 - 2013-04-01 11:50 AM; Campbell Valley Regional Park; Cates Park, North Vancouver; Cawston--Ginty's Pond; Cypress Provincial Park Road--Lookout; Francis/King Regional Park, Saanich; Inkaneep Provincial Park; Iona Island inner ponds; Iona Island outer pond; Iona Island--South Jetty; Kelowna--Robert Lake; Ladner--South Arm Marsh Wildlife Management Area; Langley--Brydon Lagoon; Mahoney Lake; Manning Park; Maplewood Conservation Area; Mount Kobau; Nighthawk Road-Chopaka Customs; Old Hedley Road; Osoyoos - Haynes Lease Ecological Reserve; Osoyoos--Road 22; Pacific Spirit Park--Imperial Trail; Sea Island, Ferguson Rd; Stanely Park--Prospect Point; Stanley Park--Lost Lagoon; Sunshine Valley; Surrey Lakes; Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, Victoria; UBC--Cecil Green Park; Vaseux Cliffs; Vaseux Lake; Victoria--Hastings Flats; Victoria--Panama Flats; White Lake, Okanagan Falls 


Summary
 Apr
1-5
Apr
6-10
Apr
11-15
Apr
16-20
Apr
21-25
Apr
26-30
Number of Species427973388270
Number of Individuals273900907448584552
Number of Checklists61056115


Total Number of Birds   (sample size)
Species NameApr
1-5
Apr
6-10
Apr
11-15
Apr
16-20
Apr
21-25
Apr
26-30
Snow Goose----100
(1)
5
(1)
----
Cackling Goose--50
(1)
--------
Canada Goose2
(1)
18
(4)
10
(2)
8
(2)
3
(1)
21
(4)
Wood Duck--4
(1)
--------
Gadwall----8
(1)
--6
(3)
6
(2)
American Wigeon--25
(2)
16
(3)
--16
(3)
11
(2)
Mallard--52
(6)
23
(3)
--16
(4)
23
(4)
Northern Shoveler----27
(2)
----16
(2)
Northern Pintail--5
(1)
16
(2)
--8
(2)
3
(1)
Green-winged Teal--11
(2)
48
(3)
--18
(2)
9
(2)
Canvasback----4
(1)
------
Ring-necked Duck--6
(3)
13
(2)
--10
(2)
1
(1)
Greater Scaup----100
(1)
------
Lesser Scaup--9
(2)
45
(2)
--11
(2)
--
Surf Scoter----7
(2)
------
White-winged Scoter----2
(1)
------
Bufflehead--7
(3)
6
(2)
2
(1)
12
(4)
5
(1)
Common Goldeneye--4
(2)
5
(1)
4
(1)
----
Hooded Merganser--1
(1)
----10
(2)
--
Common Merganser--5
(2)
3
(1)
--3
(1)
--
Ruddy Duck--------5
(1)
--
California Quail--------5
(3)
1
(1)
Chukar--------1
(1)
--
Ring-necked Pheasant--------3
(3)
--
Ruffed Grouse------1
(1)
----
Dusky Grouse------1
(1)
1
(1)
--
Sooty Grouse--3
(1)
--1
(1)
----
Common Loon----3
(1)
------
loon sp.----1
(1)
------
Pied-billed Grebe--2
(2)
--------
Horned Grebe5
(1)
--8
(1)
------
Double-crested Cormorant--5
(2)
3
(1)
------
Pelagic Cormorant--3
(2)
4
(2)
------
Great Blue Heron1
(1)
5
(3)
11
(3)
--1
(1)
3
(2)
Turkey Vulture--2
(1)
----9
(4)
2
(1)
Osprey------2
(1)
2
(2)
--
Northern Harrier----1
(1)
--2
(2)
--
Sharp-shinned Hawk----1
(1)
--1
(1)
--
Cooper's Hawk--1
(1)
----2
(2)
--
Bald Eagle4
(3)
7
(3)
15
(3)
3
(3)
2
(2)
--
Red-tailed Hawk------2
(2)
2
(2)
1
(1)
Virginia Rail----1
(1)
------
American Coot--3
(1)
6
(2)
------
Sandhill Crane------250
(1)
----
Semipalmated Plover----------2
(2)
Killdeer--2
(1)
4
(1)
--4
(3)
6
(2)
Black Oystercatcher--2
(1)
--------
American Avocet--------15
(1)
--
Greater Yellowlegs--1
(1)
----2
(2)
1
(1)
Lesser Yellowlegs--------2
(1)
--
Sanderling----3
(1)
------
Western Sandpiper----------11
(2)
Least Sandpiper----------31
(2)
Baird's Sandpiper----------1
(1)
Dunlin----150
(1)
----1
(1)
Long-billed Dowitcher--5
(1)
--------
Wilson's Snipe--1
(1)
----2
(1)
1
(1)
Mew Gull--105
(2)
5
(1)
------
California Gull--5
(1)
--------
Glaucous-winged Gull1
(1)
25
(7)
4
(2)
----8
(2)
Caspian Tern----1
(1)
------
Rock Pigeon4
(1)
------8
(2)
--
Band-tailed Pigeon--1
(1)
--------
Eurasian Collared-Dove3
(1)
------1
(1)
--
Mourning Dove--------5
(4)
--
Great Horned Owl------2
(1)
----
White-throated Swift--------5
(1)
--
Anna's Hummingbird6
(3)
11
(5)
3
(1)
----14
(3)
Rufous Hummingbird1
(1)
7
(5)
6
(3)
--3
(1)
3
(2)
Belted Kingfisher--2
(2)
--------
Red-naped Sapsucker------2
(1)
1
(1)
--
Red-breasted Sapsucker--3
(1)
------1
(1)
Downy Woodpecker3
(1)
2
(2)
1
(1)
--1
(1)
1
(1)
Hairy Woodpecker--1
(1)
--1
(1)
----
Northern Flicker5
(5)
12
(8)
4
(3)
3
(2)
13
(8)
6
(4)
Pileated Woodpecker1
(1)
1
(1)
--1
(1)
----
American Kestrel------1
(1)
5
(4)
--
Merlin1
(1)
----------
Peregrine Falcon--2
(1)
1
(1)
--2
(2)
--
Pacific-slope Flycatcher----------1
(1)
Say's Phoebe--------5
(3)
--
Cassin's Vireo----------1
(1)
Hutton's Vireo--2
(1)
--------
Gray Jay------1
(1)
----
Steller's Jay3
(2)
3
(1)
--------
Black-billed Magpie--------17
(5)
--
American Crow--------2
(2)
--
Northwestern Crow13
(3)
37
(6)
19
(4)
--5
(1)
18
(4)
Common Raven1
(1)
1
(1)
2
(2)
9
(4)
9
(4)
1
(1)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow--1
(1)
----3
(1)
--
Tree Swallow11
(2)
15
(1)
26
(4)
1
(1)
29
(4)
17
(3)
Violet-green Swallow--10
(1)
7
(1)
--52
(4)
16
(2)
Barn Swallow----3
(1)
----8
(3)
Cliff Swallow--------1
(1)
--
Black-capped Chickadee6
(4)
24
(8)
4
(2)
1
(1)
10
(5)
2
(1)
Mountain Chickadee------1
(1)
1
(1)
--
Chestnut-backed Chickadee5
(1)
5
(4)
1
(1)
----4
(2)
Bushtit13
(3)
6
(2)
3
(1)
--7
(1)
12
(3)
Red-breasted Nuthatch5
(3)
4
(4)
4
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
3
(2)
Pygmy Nuthatch--------2
(2)
--
Brown Creeper2
(2)
2
(2)
----1
(1)
1
(1)
Canyon Wren--------4
(3)
--
House Wren----------2
(1)
Pacific Wren4
(2)
10
(6)
3
(2)
--2
(1)
1
(1)
Marsh Wren--4
(3)
5
(2)
--6
(1)
5
(2)
Bewick's Wren1
(1)
8
(4)
2
(2)
--1
(1)
5
(3)
Golden-crowned Kinglet27
(3)
13
(6)
10
(1)
3
(1)
--2
(2)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet16
(2)
39
(8)
16
(2)
9
(4)
7
(5)
2
(2)
Western Bluebird--------12
(2)
--
Mountain Bluebird------10
(1)
10
(3)
--
Townsend's Solitaire--------2
(2)
--
Hermit Thrush----------7
(2)
American Robin21
(5)
61
(9)
22
(4)
55
(4)
17
(7)
28
(5)
Varied Thrush3
(2)
29
(8)
9
(2)
3
(1)
--3
(2)
European Starling4
(1)
3
(2)
2
(1)
5
(1)
17
(3)
3
(1)
American Pipit----2
(2)
------
Orange-crowned Warbler1
(1)
6
(3)
2
(2)
--1
(1)
22
(4)
MacGillivray's Warbler----------1
(1)
Common Yellowthroat--1
(1)
2
(1)
----24
(3)
Yellow Warbler----------2
(1)
Yellow-rumped Warbler4
(2)
22
(7)
8
(1)
1
(1)
19
(9)
13
(4)
Black-throated Gray Warbler----------1
(1)
Townsend's Warbler--1
(1)
------2
(1)
Wilson's Warbler----------1
(1)
Spotted Towhee5
(3)
10
(6)
7
(3)
1
(1)
7
(3)
7
(3)
Vesper Sparrow------3
(1)
2
(2)
--
Savannah Sparrow--7
(2)
----1
(1)
16
(2)
Fox Sparrow2
(1)
6
(3)
4
(1)
------
Song Sparrow7
(5)
40
(8)
18
(5)
2
(2)
5
(3)
15
(4)
Lincoln's Sparrow----1
(1)
--1
(1)
--
White-crowned Sparrow4
(3)
3
(2)
4
(2)
3
(2)
7
(2)
3
(3)
Golden-crowned Sparrow--2
(2)
8
(1)
----1
(1)
Dark-eyed Junco2
(1)
30
(8)
6
(1)
36
(4)
20
(4)
6
(2)
Dickcissel--------1
(1)
--
Red-winged Blackbird1
(1)
19
(4)
8
(2)
4
(1)
18
(3)
9
(2)
Western Meadowlark------8
(2)
5
(2)
--
Brewer's Blackbird--------8
(2)
--
Brown-headed Cowbird----1
(1)
----4
(2)
Purple Finch2
(2)
12
(3)
3
(1)
----5
(1)
Cassin's Finch------2
(1)
1
(1)
--
House Finch3
(3)
1
(1)
2
(1)
--15
(5)
--
Red Crossbill60
(4)
21
(4)
------34
(4)
Pine Siskin8
(2)
15
(6)
15
(1)
--27
(4)
46
(4)
American Goldfinch2
(2)
7
(2)
9
(3)
--2
(1)
5
(3)
Evening Grosbeak--2
(1)
--------
House Sparrow--2
(1)
----3
(1)
4
(2)

Victoriiiiaaa

That kinks song always plays in my head when I visit Victoria. This is my second time this year I got to visit, this time it was only for a day, and it was mostly due to my girlfriend running in some sort of fun run or something, I don't even know what it was for, but while she was out running I got to take in some birds.

I started at Swan Lake and was soon greeted by the lovely song of a Yellow Warbler, not really early but early enough to to surprise me. I soon had another one in my view, its finally really spring. The sad part of the day happened soon after as I had my camera nice and focused an a male Anna's hummingbird preening itself...I forgot to put a memory card in...doh! So much for pictures to document this entry.

Hermit Thrushes were bountiful, as well as singing Orange-crowned Warblers and Common Yellowthroats. I didn't add any more birds for the year, but Swan Lake is quite the Jewel to walk around, I wish I could visit more often it reminds me of Elizabeth Lake in Cranbrook.

After Swan Lake I scurried off to Panama Flats, adding my first Least and Western Sandpipers, as well as another early Warbler, a Wilson's calling from the deciduous border. A birder there informed me that there were some Baird's Sandpipers at Hasting Flats, and was kind enough to give directions. At Hasting Flats the peeps were scattered all over a flooded field, it took some time but I finally got a Baird's in all the little Leasties.

My last stop was Francis King regional park. I hiked a short trail called the shooting star through a nice open forest. I heard my first Cassin's Vireo of the year, careful to make sure it was a real one and not a Purple Finch. I finally had it in the top of a Douglas Fir. Townsend's Warblers were vigorously singing from the highest branches. When i reached the end of the trail where it overlooks the road coming into the park, I had my biggest surprise, 2 singing House Wrens. I was ecstatic to see these lovely birds up so close.

Moving on to an area where the Powerlines cut through the forest, I had a great view of a Macgillavray's Warbler as well as a Black-throated Gray. I finished off adding bird 217 of the year, a Pacific Slope Flycatcher.

The weather was lovely and Victoria always is a great place to go birding.Its currently Thursday and tomorrow I must decide if I go on an 8 hour drive to Cranbrook for a Tufted Duck and Black-necked Stilts, hit up the Okanagan or stick close to home and get the one bird I keep dipping on American Bittern.
-Ryan