Sept. 10 - A Rare Bird?????
Sept. 10 - A Rare Bird?????
The Orange Bishop is an African bird famous for weaving amazing hanging nests. Unfortunately, it is considered a grain-eating pest and considerable efforts are made to erradicate the populations. According to Sibley, a feral population has been established in California. If that is the case, it is possible for one to stray northward just like the Painted Bunting earlier in the year at Brentwood and then the Lesser Nighthawk in June. The other possibly is that it is an escaped cage bird. Since there is no way of proving either case, I'll consider it a wild bird until proven otherwise. By the way, don't bet on me as 2 experts I've consulted so far have taken the other side of the argument. It would sure help if owners of cage birds banded their pets, and wouldn't it be great if there were a website listing all escapees by species, date, and location?
Photographs don't do the Orange Bishop any justice as it definitely looked more spectacular in real life.
Sept. 11 - A Missed Opportunity
With SAVE ON FOODS in Campbell River ordering another 18 books, it was a good excuse to check out Oyster Bay for shorebirds and Deep Bay for jaegers and gulls. Despite Bonapartes busily feeding in the tranquil waters of Baynes Sound, jaegers were a no-show as were specialties like the Little or Sabine's Gull. Oyster Bay looked promising with a hundred peeps but nothing unusual except for a pair of Semipalmated Plovers on the mud flats close to the highway. After scanning the flock for 15 minutes, I decided to head home instead of checking the breakwater across the mudflats. That was regretably a mistake as I would discover that 2 hours earlier, a Hudsonian Godwit was photographed and reported in that location by Anton Turner of Duncan. Ironically, I had mentioned a possiblity of a Hudsonian at Oyster Bay just 3 days earlier in a North Islander newspaper article.
A Band-tailed Pigeon, enjoying the morning sun, greeted us at Nile Creek.
As expected, the Bonaparte Gulls were plentiful at Deep Bay.
I don't think I've ever driven by the cormorants south of Campbell River without stopping for a picture or two. I still haven't decided what kind of cormorants these are.... Thanks David A. for pointing out that these are Brandt's Cormorants.
Disappointed with the lack of birds on our trip to Campbell River, I decided to catch up with my back yard buddies.
It was slim pickings for the Chestnut-backed Chickadee with the Stellers monopolizing the feeders.
The Red-breasted Nuthatch patiently waited its turn at the feeder.
Feeder Free-loaders - The Steller Jays have practically camped at the feeders for the past 2 weeks, barely giving the other birds a chance to feed.
The Stellers seemed to have an insatiable appetite as they were at the feeders constantly.
Sept. 12 - A Last Visit With Calidris minuta
My words may have proven prophetic in more ways than one as not only should the Semipalmated Sandpiper migration be near its end, but access to Holden Creek has just been terminated by removal of the culverts to restore the original flow of the creek. Holden has been my favorite location for shorebird photography in the past 2 years.
I tried hard to make this late Semipalmated Sandpiper into a Little Stint, but it was just wishful thinking.
How's this for a great comparison photo with a Least Sandpiper. (Pssst, the Least is on the right.)
This is even a better comparison.
This is my last photo of the Semi for the year. It's still my favorite peep.
Sept. 13 - Gorgeous Godwits
Distraught over not checking for the Hudsonian at Oyster Bay, the only remedy for my distress was to twitch the Bar-tailed and Marbled Godwits reported by Ed Pelizzon and Rick Toochin at Port Renfrew. Taking the road through Lake Cowichan shortened the trip to 2 hours. The overcast skies and lingering fog was disappointing, but my day brightened as soon as we encountered the pair of Godwits on the beach. I was oblivious of the weather as I enjoyed the two beautiful birds. (Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.) By the way, thanks to Rick and Ed for posting that both birds were present at Port Renfrew.
Down at the water's edge, they would stop for a drink. Notice the difference in the respective drinking positions. It was repeated many times so the picture isn't an aberration.
The Bar-tailed Godwit is a rare visitor to Vancouver Island. They do breed on the Arctic coast of Alaska, but their migration is usually to Asia.
As of Sept. 18, the Bar-tailed was still at Port Renfrew. It was first reported around Sept. 1. The Marbled was reported on Sept. 12. I saw it on Sept. 13. It wasn't there on Sept. 15.
Just east of Port Renfrew, a lonely Trumpeter Swan was peacefully snoozing in a marsh.
Sept. 14 - Back to Oyster Bay
After seeing the Bar-tailed and Marbled Godwit at Port Renfrew, I decided to take a shot at the Hudsonian. It was a bad decision as there wasn't much to see.
There wasn't anything to photograph at Oyster Bay except for a few Green-winged Teal. There were no godwits in sight and only a few peeps, gulls, and Double-crested Cormorants.
The Airpark at Courtenay was also very quiet. The adult female Hooded Merganser and her 2 sons was one of the few pictures I took.
I had an itchy trigger finger so had to take a picture of the Northern Pintails.
Sept. 15 - Orange-crowned Warbler fallout a Buttertubs
No, this isn't an Orange-crowned, but I had to go past the Pied-billed Grebes to get to the warblers. You would think that one fat perch would make a fine meal for 3 juveniles, but sharing doesn't seem to be in the vocabulary of the grebes. The first one there got the treat.
I was expecting a fallout of warblers at Buttertubs but only found the Orange-crowned.
I didn't mind as I hadn't seen an Orange-crowned for quite a while.
Consisering the dull weather, I was happy to get any pictures.
The Orange-crowneds were quite cooperative for about 2 minutes before they disappeared.
NANAIMO - BACKYARD WILDBIRD & NATURE STORE SAVE-ON FOODS (WOODGROVE) SAVE-ON FOODS (COUNTRY CLUB) CHAPTERS FALCONER BOOKS COLE'S PORT ALBERNI - CLOCKTOWER GALLERY COURTENAY - GRAHAM'S JEWELLERS SAVE-ON FOODS SIDNEY - VICTORIAN BIRD HOUSE TANNER'S BOOKSTORE COMOX - BLUE HERON BOOKS BOWSER - LIGHTHOUSE GIFTS DEEP BAY - Ship & SHORE SAANICH - WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED BUTCHART GARDENS VICTORIA - BOLEN BOOKS MUNRO'S CAMPBELL RIVER - CAMPBELL RIVER MUSEUM BOOK BONANZA SAVE-ON FOODS DUNCAN - VOLUME 1 BOOKSTORE CHEMAINUS - LITTLE SHOP OF NOVELS LADYSMITH - SALAMANDER BOOKS NANOOSE - SCHOONER COVE MARINA SOOKE - SOOKE HARBOUR HOUSE LAKE COWICHAN - GALLOPING MOON GALLERY TOFINO - BOTANICAL GARDENS UCLUELET - WORDS END BOOKSELLERS Comments, questions, or book orders? email email@example.com
NANAIMO - BACKYARD WILDBIRD & NATURE STORE
SAVE-ON FOODS (WOODGROVE)
SAVE-ON FOODS (COUNTRY CLUB)
PORT ALBERNI - CLOCKTOWER GALLERY
COURTENAY - GRAHAM'S JEWELLERS
SIDNEY - VICTORIAN BIRD HOUSE
COMOX - BLUE HERON BOOKS
BOWSER - LIGHTHOUSE GIFTS
DEEP BAY - Ship & SHORE
SAANICH - WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED
VICTORIA - BOLEN BOOKS
CAMPBELL RIVER - CAMPBELL RIVER MUSEUM
DUNCAN - VOLUME 1 BOOKSTORE
CHEMAINUS - LITTLE SHOP OF NOVELS
LADYSMITH - SALAMANDER BOOKS
NANOOSE - SCHOONER COVE MARINA
SOOKE - SOOKE HARBOUR HOUSE
LAKE COWICHAN - GALLOPING MOON GALLERY
TOFINO - BOTANICAL GARDENS
UCLUELET - WORDS END BOOKSELLERS
Comments, questions, or book orders? email firstname.lastname@example.org