Above photo - (July 24) Greetings to Journal 300 from the Admiral's Lagoon Bald Eagle.

Journal 300

My sincerest thanks to all of you who took the time to email me even when the email link didn't work. (I've since rectified the problem.) I am delighted, tickled, flattered, pleased, overwhelmed, and gratified with your responses. To quote the noted English poet, John Donne,"No man is an Island." In other words, we all need and thrive on human contact. A few personal emails is definitely much more meaningful than a bunch of statistical "hits" on my website log. Despite the fact that the internet has the potential to bring people together in cyber-communities, it can also have the opposite effect. It is too easy to be anonymous - to log into a website and log out with the click of a mouse without acknowledging that you have just visited someone's personal domain.

My website wasn't designed to be interactive, but it was designed for you. As mentioned in Journal 299, my purpose is to share, educate, and motivate others to get interested in birds and nature. From your responses, encouragement, and support, my purpose has been affirmed and validated, and I am happy to know that my efforts have been worthwhile.

Without your reponses I'm not sure what direction I would have taken. The annual challenge of finding new material continues to get more difficult. Lately I've even resorted to looking for buterflies, and for this journal I'm including your comments. However, as long as you are still interested, and willing to learn and evolve with me, I will be happy to carry on for for awhile. So let's get on to Journal 300, and as promised we're starting with your comments. (My apologies for missing your paragraph breaks while converting to html.)


Hi Mike:
Just wanted to say Thank You for being so generous in posting your images and for your words describing the birds you come across and the stories around them. Although I live in the east, I occasionally have the opportunity to visit Vancouver Island and I have used the information you have provided on your site over the years to explore some of the places you have found to take pictures myself. A few years ago, you generously gave me permission to use your images as source material for a painting I was working on - I've attached it here. What I really like about your journal is that, unlike the photo-sharing sites, what you share is much more interesting - I never know what you've come across, or what I might learn from your observations. So thank you and please don't stop.
Julie Bowen


Dear Mike,
It was by chance that I found your website. Your work and your website is superb.
Thank you,
Deigh (Virginia, US)


Hi Mike,
I met you in Jericho Park when you were photographing the immature goshawk there. When I pried enough to find out who you were, I felt winded, like I had just bumped (very hard) into my favorite movie star, or, even better, suddenly found through my binocs that what was making the leaves on a nearby bush wiggle was a rare warbler, or some other gem . . . magnified x 10! Wow: It's alive. I check in every once in a while to discover your latest journals, or dally once more over earlier ones. Today, for a moment, before I had read your entire "Reflection" but my eye had caught your words "Is it worth paying Yahoo $14 a month...?" I thought you were considering retiring the website: I felt like some major extinction was at hand! Your pictures come as close to giving that "winded" experience as any I have seen, as though allowing a personal visit, in an exact time and place, by the citizens of that other world which used to be ours, or, more precisely, used to welcome us as one of them. I have no doubt that your photographs serve many purposes, including waking the city-bound, the television-drugged and the narrow-minded to our present-day Eden thereby strengthening the hope for its preservation; but for those of us who are already alert, your photographs lend a resounding "YES!" I have often sent your website address to various birders, friends and photographers (!) who invariably write back after they've visited it to thank me. Silly. They should be thanking you. I hope they do. If you receive any negative feedback, be assured it will be from crackpots or curmudgeons - not to be counted among worthy critics. So dismiss them immediately. The joy (it is not too strong a word) you have spread cannot be undone, and, is definitely worth $14 a month.
Happy 300th
And as many thanks,
Wendy Frith


Dear Mike,
It is due to your efforts that we have become passionate about the birds in our area. We had a casual acquaintance with these fascinating creatures previously but your site has been truly key in our 'new' found love and appreciation for the birds who's environment we share. Your site is very important, especially now -- anything that helps to raise awareness and promote good stewardship of our environment is priceless. We can say with certainty that you have expanded our consciousness. Your photos capture a portrait of birds rarely viewed by us. Compared to the slicker pro sites/publications, you share a level detail, intimacy and candidness which reveal more completely the nature of your subject. We love that! We have learned so much from your journals and regularly encourage anyone who will listen to us go on about the birds in our garden that they must visit Mike Yip's web site! We have even planted thistle for the many gold finch couples which come regularly to the garden, have incorporated 6 bird baths and over a dozen feeders (unheard of for us previously) all over the small little patch we call home. Our gardener, Hana, was a student of yours and she said you were an excellent teacher. So, it seems that you are a natural teacher and generous sharer of information. People like you are a gift and add much to the lives you touch. We sum our sentiments up with an enthusiastic: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANKS YOU!!!!
Sincerely and with gratitude,
Corinna & Tim Lee
2300 Coventry Place.


I look at your pictures regularly. I just took up photography - nowhere in your league - and I've used your site as a learning place/resource/inspiration. You are making people aware of the world around them and the beauty that surrounds them. I don't have any constructive criticism to offer as you strive for excellence and achieve it regularly. I've often bumped into visitors who have no idea where to go to see our wildlife - tourist information is filled with touristy stuff that is paid advertising. I refer them to your website as a lot of your birding hotspots are great places to go. I know when I moved to the island I found it very frustrating trying to figure out where to go for a hike, photography - everything. I found your website and I've gone to most places you recommend or mentioned in yur journals. I hope you keep up your valuable service - it is such a gift and a blessing to many - shut ins can enjoy your site too.
Sue Beatty


Hello Mike;
We have been dropping in to read and view your journals for just over a year and a half now. We always enjoy your comments and stories, as well as your incredible photography. One journal that is a favourite of ours is the Bohemian Waxwings. The dilemma that you faced over visiting the birds vs. staying home with your family was well written and of course, we would have gone to get the Bohemians as well. The photos were overwhelmingly beautiful, although your family may have disagreed with you going, we were thrilled to be able to see such wonderful photographs. We are always enthralled with your photos and journals. Thank you so much for sharing your sightings with everyone. We often pass your website address on to others to view. You are a credit to birders and photographers everywhere.
Best Regards to a great guy,
Joanne and Bruce Clayton


Dear Mike,
Next to my email box, your site is the most exciting place to visit online. I not only get to see some great photos of the little feathered sneeps that entertain me daily, but I also find that I can identify more water birds. A recent visit reminded me that my Rufus hummers will soon leave and I am now preparing for the loss...... Future visits will alert me to the next wave of birds going this way or that so thanks to you I'll stay informed of my local situation. Numbers and statistics will never inspire the heart to save or create habitat so stop comparing yourself to what the other guys do. Maybe you'll be inspired to write a poem......because sometimes that is the only way to express what is going on with the environment. We like you! Do what you want to do!
Thanks for your efforts,
Arlene Richardson
Salt Spring Island


Hello Mike,
Nice shot of the Nighthawk. As for feedback on your website, you have a remarkable collection of bird photos. Keep up the good work. I regret I didn't get a chance to sit down with you over a coffee when you were here in May. Next time you're out this way, give me a call so we can chat.
Adrian Dorst


Hello Mike
Keep it up! Don't change anything! I have enjoyed your material for a number of years, I don't think you should apologize or feel inferior to the Pro's at all. I really appreciate your photography and comments . . . as is! It reflects how I see the birds - skittish, hidden by foliage or even occasionally (rarely) slightly out of focus. It's real life. Now that I've moved to the Island I'll follow your commentary even more closely and scout out some of the places you mention as well. Hope I run into you one of these days.
Bill Pranke


We first met when you were flogging your first book at Yellowpoint Lodge, and I gleefully purchased at that time. And luckily I was again a guest, attending to affairs in the office when you arrived again with your second tome. I have purchased more than several of your books in the brazen attempt of encouraging you to carry on a job of work to which you seem most well suited. I like to think I've spread the word among a few - yet high quality - journal viewers. Your site is wonderful, fun, whimsical, and yes - ever so worth while. Your prowess with the camera in this part of the world has certainly taken away one of my retirement options - that of a bird follower and photographer -therefore I continue to work. Gee thanks. Regardless, I enjoy your work; and I know at the Lodge the books are consistently being dragged out and poured over; ours sit on the coffee table in the midst of Vancouver in the manner of longing. Thank-you for your efforts.
D. P. (Doug) Gayton MMM CD RCA ATP


Hi Mike,
Your photo website is a frequent stop in my weekly perambulation of bird related internet stops. I have read each one of your journals since you started posting them. I find them entertaining, informative and yes, inspiring, in my own feeble attempts to record my own bird images. Keep up the good work.
Klaus Emmaneel


Dear Mike:
I've written to you before, to let you know how much I appreciate your website and the beautiful photos you post each week. Since you've invited comments, I'll say it again: I am so grateful for this amazing resource, and I admire your dedication to nature and photography. It's just good to know I'm not the only one who loves these creatures (and butterflies, too!) There's not a week goes by that I don't consult your journal, and make the connection between a bird I've seen and a bird you've photographed. It's so important that there are folks like you out there, keeping track of bird populations and migrations, and able to observe when these patterns have changed (for better or for worse). And where else could I learn such specific local information? I am astounded and pleased to read that Saanich has the only North American group of skylarks, for example. I don't care that your photos aren't super-dooper-high-resolution: they look darned fine to me! Your website provides a far more personal and intimate birding experience; I like to read your observations, ponder your questions, and share in your wonder. Thanks, Mike!
Sincere regards,
Kecia Dusseault
Victoria, BC


Hi Mike,
I am truly impressed with your bird photos and journal. As a wildlife biologist, I am especially interested in photos of unusual or seldom seen behaviours. The detail on your photos is spectacular and I am always learning new fieldmarks and interesting features of birds that are hard to see at longer distances. Your must have incredible patience and devotion to spend so many hours in the field. Your website is an excellent way of sharing your hard work and valuable information on birds. Perhaps there is a way to make your website more educational and interesting to non-birders, especially young people who are generally unaware of the beauty and fascination of natural world that surrounds them. One possibility is to modify/enhance the website so that it can be used as a resource for education programs in biology and ecology (eg., local elementary and secondary schools or park interpretive centres).
Best regards,
Lennart Sopuck, MSc., RPBio.
Biolinx Environmental Research Ltd.
1759 Colburne Place
North Saanich, BC V8L 5A2
Tel: 250-655-4602; Fax: 250-655-4697; Cell: 250-812-4089


I love your pictures and comments. I've learned so much more about the local birds from your website over the last couple of years and it has increased my awareness and appreciation for what's in my own backyard.
Thank you Mike.


Hi Mike,
I enjoy your site and have learned a lot. You've inspired me to have fun with my point and shoot camera and enjoy nature. Thank you very much. I also liked your first book and hope I'll be lucky enough to get #2 this year.
Ethel Vincent,
(lucky enough to be on) Rithet's Bog, Victoria


I've already written you before from my other email address (goodmanvi@gmail.com), so I think you know how much your work means to me. It took four years of planning for us to finally move from Utah to Vancouver Island, and I discovered your website about six months before we made the big move. I've been stopping back periodically ever since then for many reasons: Mainly to learn. This is my best resource for learning about the birds around me in this new home. Your site inspires my curiosity, and my own artwork. First bird picture I completed here was a Varied Thrush, and your photos were a huge help. Just for the joy of looking at your photos. Sometimes I come to the website because I'm having a bad day and need cheering up. Sometimes it is eye candy. It is always new, uplifting, and informative. For the fellowship. I like the ethic you express about observing and appreciating the natural world. And I like your humility. Your site is not boastful, or list-obsessed, or inaccessible to rank amateurs like me. Please don't change a thing, and please keep doing what you are doing for as long as you enjoy it.
with gratitude,
-- Debbie Goodman
Wildlife and Nature Artist
Vancouver Island, British Columbia


Hi Mike
I love your web site--both commentary and photos. I check weekly if not more often, because you give me a window on the local beauty my eyes can no longer see in focus. I browse your lovely pictures when arthritis make being active difficult, and then feel like I was hiking outside. My hummingbird feeder exists because of your journal, and that makes more than just me grateful. Your journal voice is appealingly human to this retired teacher, and I am glad you have persisted for as long as you have. The "amateur" voice is perfect. We all need a little passion in our lives, and sometimes we need to view it in others to be reminded of the beauty of nature's smaller wonders. And I really like how with you we see birds not ads. I truly hope that it will continue to be a pleasure and reward for you to keep posting for another 300--and more.
From D.


Hello Mike;
I am not a birder, but I certainly enjoy your web site and admire your fantastic hobby; not to overlook your photo abilities. Thank you for taking the time. Thank you for the enjoyment you give.
Bill Cleugh


One of my rituals is to make sure I check out your latest upload. I enjoy your enthusiasm and energy when you write. Please continue to post your photos, I would be sad if your stopped. I have always enjoyed nature and have a soft spot for birds. We met at the farm (I can't remember the name of the area) by the Nanaimo estuary and you took the time to talk with me. Again, I really enjoy learning and viewing your photos. Thanks for all the time you dedicate and for making my life more enjoyable.
Jim Cameron


Hi Mike,
I appreciate the opportunity to give my feedback to you and your website. There have been times when I have thought, “I wonder if Mike has the time or the interest in hearing from one of his fans?” Each time I have decided to pass on my inclinations so as not to be a burden to your time. By way of a “reintroduction”, I did meet you once at “The Backyard Wildbird & Nature Store” when you were promoting your second book. We were only able to talk briefly as I didn’t want to monopolize your time. We talked about your book, your camera and whether retirement was a good gig. At that point, I was leaning toward retiring that June but I had not completely made up my mind. I did decide to retire that June, a year ago already. The only “regret” I have is “I’m way too busy to do all the things I want to do.” Like you, I enjoy golf, gardening, birding, photography, travel … I still volunteer at my old school but I don’t miss writing report cards. Retirement is good, but busy. I got interested in your Website a few years ago and I began systematically going through your pictures and comments in my spare time. I would make notes on such things as your favourite bird watching sites or how things were going with your camera – pros/cons, updates etc. I also enjoyed your photographs – you are far too humble in your comments regarding your knowledge and photographic talents. My retirement gift to myself was a new digital camera. I went with the Nikon D80 with an 18 to 200 lens. I eventually added a 70 to 300 as well. I’ve been into photography most of my life but I’m finding the digital camera is a very fine tool but with all the extraordinary power it has there are so many new elements to master. I did take a two evening night school course but I still want to learn more. If I get really stuck on something, I visit Helmut at London Drugs in Nanaimo. Pardon the digressions, back to your website. I personally have learned so much from reading your entries. Even the sites you quote in your current “Reflection Time” I’m sure will add to my knowledge. I belong to the Feeder Watch Programme and once in a while a common bird will stump me. This snowy winter brought some unusual birds to my feeders. Who knew that the strange white bird was a Song Sparrow variant? The Staff at “The Backyard …” are always so helpful. I’ve rambled on and jumped around a bit but I would like to say that your site is an excellent forum for birdwatchers of all levels & interests. I enjoy your sense of humour, your generosity of sharing your interest to the world and the wonderful images you share. By the way, if you are interested in a hummer on a nest in future Springs, I am usually able to find a nest or two most seasons. I’m lucky enough to still have two or three hummers still sharing our yard. Thanks for your time. Good birding!
Al Mikalishen


Hi Mike,
We hope you and Cathy are enjoying this amazing spring, and summer, so far.We needed it after last winter and last years terrible May & June.Re input into your island birds.EXCELLENT IS THE WORD. You are doing a really good job of raising the awareness of the general public with your well though out presentations and great photos,Seeing birds in such detail, and statically, as per your pics ,is something we can never, ever ,see in a live bird.It is a new dimensions we would never have experienced without your work. We thank you. And look forward to another 300 editions of your wonderful site, and more books to come.Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your next edition.--Good Birding & Good Photographing--
David & Adel Routledge


Dear Mike:
I am a photographer for Hancock Wildlife, shooting with a Nikon D300 and a Nikon 200-400 f4 lens. Your site is my treat for the week. I marvel at how you get a host of tiny and large birds to pose for you. Your photos have life to them, aided by your interesting travel logs that you do. Photography sites are very dull, as the shots are all posed and seem unreal or plastic. Your site is tops on my list of many I know about.
Yours truly,
Harry Johnson.


Hi Mike,
I think your website is fantastic and as an armature wildlife photographer myself your images make me envious. What you have done for me is given me a goal to achieve. When I grow up I want to be just like Mike Yip. The information you provide is not only educational but entertaining as well. I love your sense of humor. My friend and I usually go out once a week on photography trips and we use the location information you provide on your website as a starting point and most of the time we have not been disappointed. Keep up the fantastic work Mike and thank you for all your time, effort and incredible images.
Dianne Shuttleworth


Dear Mike,
We have been followers of your website from the beginning and have forwarded it to many a birding friend. We were away when you did the presentation here for the VNHS in Victoria a few years ago and we were so sorry to miss it. Your commentary is wonderful, and the photos equally wonderful, so please keep it up. It has been a great help to us in our birding pursuits. It all is so very much appreciated.
With thanks,
Gail and Ed Tupper


Hi Mike,
I love your photographs. I often use them for bird identification both of birds that I have seen and ones that my work mates think they have seen. I have difficulty identifying shorebirds so use your photos as an aid. I just enjoy checking out your latest postings and following your travels up and down the island. I grew up in Victoria and worked for Fish and Wildlife from Matheson Lake to the Cowichan River many eons ago, so I love following your meanderings. I currently live in Delta and on Pender Island. I was in Courtenay recently and tried to find your books but Grahams Jeweller's was closed on Sunday, I will have to make a point to check Bolen Books next time I am in Victoria.
Thanks so much and keep up the good work.


Mike, you're too modest about your photographs. They're excellent! You are so lucky to be living in such a beautiful area and with so much wildlife and flora around you. I will be visiting the island first week of September and will be staying several days at Qualicum Beach, hoping to capture the sights and wildlife of the island. If I see a guy going around with a D300 I think I'll be able to recognize you.
Dennis Luz
Santa Rosa, CA


Mike, I have to disagree with your evaluation of your birding and photography skills. I think the response you have received from the public speaks for itself. Both your photographs and narrative have become more polished over time, but they were already very good to start with. You take incredible photos! I always look forward to new journals being posted and have repeatedly recommended your website to friends. As an amateur photographer and birder, I am inspired by your efforts, and never fail to learn something new about photography or birds or birding. To sum it up, the time and effort you put into your website is much appreciated, and I am sure I am not alone in hoping that you will keep those journals coming!
Thank you so much!
Pat Damron


I'm not quite certain when I found your site, but it's been about 2 years now. I actually found it in an effort to identify a bird I had spotted. And then I fell in love with the photos and your humour. It took me hours to get through all the journals. It was worth it. The truth is, at that time I was recovering from a double mastectomy and feeling pretty miserable. Your website has brought me many a smile and I always leave it feeling better than when I checked in. Sometimes you show me birds I have yet to find. I love bird watching. It doesn't take much to be entertained by them [watched a hummingbid buzz the heck out of a bald eagle at Botannical Beach]. I will always be an amateur birder.
Thank you.
Gayle Moore


Hi Mike,
Just a short note to toss in my two cents. (One gets an indication of how much two cents is worth from the fact that the modern keyboard does not even have the old 'cent' sign). I think we have talked about this a bit before. I am most definitely in the same camp as you. Give full credit to certain individuals for getting those razor-sharp images, but often I don't find their photos particularly attractive. Too much flash, making the birds look like ceramic figures. Too much staging. Supplied fancy perches have become visual cliche. I admire most the guys/gals, like yourself, who have a developed the skills needed to get good images of birds - as they find them. You have set some goals for yourself, and seem to think you have been reasonably successful at meeting them. I concur wholeheartedly with that. I quite enjoy your journals, including the added commentary - especially some of the cornball stuff you sneak in. My wife Norma is not a birder, and does not read any birding listserve. But she like birds, so I forward all your journals to her, which she finds very interesting and entertaining. She often comments on your story lines, and occasionally chides me for not matching your standards with my efforts (all in good fun of course). Bottom line: good work. Keep it up, and keep the journals coming! I have recently graduated to a more serious camera (Canon 50D), with a 300 zoom lens. I will likely move up to a 400 zoom, but have no interest in (or resources for) going all-out. I find that many of my images are not all that sharp, mostly because I haven't gotten skilled enough at it. But I'll just keep plugging along, without flash, mostly without tripod, without setting up in blinds - and just see what I can get. I'll let the hotshots cart their thousands of dollars worth of gear, and strive for those perfect 'captures'. In the spectrum of bird photographers, I'm near the low end, and that's fine with me. If I can get a few images as good as your regular stuff, that will be just dandy.
That's what I think . . . .
"All the best",


Hi Mlke
Like you I chased birdies at Fairwinds but unlike you i started chasing birds (mostly collecting eggs)at about 7 years old.I got a couple of your books for my grandkids and one of them is starting to reporting her sighting to me.I am a regular visiter to your website and thank you for the effort you put into it.


Hi Mike,
In a nutshell, I think you should do what provides YOU with satisfaction. Although I, and a whole bunch of other people get an immense amount of pleasure out of your photos and stories, if your not getting as much out of it as your putting into it, then something should change. As to whether or not your photos are "good enough", again, this is for you to decide. I would say though, that I get very bored with the supposedly technically perfect photos from a couple of other well known Vancouver Island bird photographers, whose photos to me appear dead and lifeless. I'll take your supposedly "imperfect" photos over those "staged studio shots" any day. Your photos show birds as they are, doing what they do. That makes an enormous amount of difference to me. Whatever you decide about your website, I hope you keep chasing birds and getting photos.
See you in the field,
Guy L. Monty
Nanoose Bay, BC


Hi Mike,
I'm an expat Canadian, having left the country in the late 80s and moved to my wife's homeland, New Zealand. As much as I like many things about New Zealand, I miss the Canadian wildness: the birds, trees, and flowering plants. We have have very few trips back to Canada, but in recent years decided that we would retire to Victoria and environs. I found your site through Google when I was looking for some local information on birding prior to one of our visits. Since then I have visited your site very regularly. What do I like about it? First, your site is personal, it's by you and about you. It's like listening to a person speaking. Second, it's intimate, it's about your experiences and emotions. You aren't a serious twitcher and have an appreciation of Nature and its beauty. You are learning how to be a photographer. I don't want to sound patronizing. I'm not a photographer. What is great is watching you get better at what you do. But most of all, when I visit your site regularly it's like visiting a birding friend. What have you seen this week? Where have you been? What was good or bad? It gives me a chance to go birding vicariously in Vancouver Island, before I get there. I have had some stressful times at work over the past few years. Your site gives me an escape from work, and a chance to go birding in BC. It has occasionally saved my sanity. You have become a friend of our family. Sorry if this gets too cloying. When I mention Mike Yip, my wife knows who you are. In fact, I think we crossed paths once at Swan Lake once when we were visiting. There was a superabundance of Yellow-rumped Warblers that day as I recall. So, Happy 300th! Keep up the good work. You have fans in far-flung places.
Best regards,
==================================================== Howard Ross, Senior Lecturer Bioinformatics Institute, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand ====================================================


The Bird Scene

The best sighting for the past two weeks has been a Green-tailed Towhee at Witty's Lagoon. The bird was discovered and reported by David Allinson on July 28 but hasn't been seen since. The only other recorded sighting for the Island was during the winter of '84 - '85 in Comox.

Hat's off to Robin Robinson who completed a 7 hour hike on July 19th into the Sooke Wilderness Park to monitor the progress of the nesting Golden Eagles. Robin saw one large nestling that looked almost ready to fledge. If the nestling survives, it will be the first successful birth in 4 years.

Ian Cruikshank spotted the Swan Lake American Bittern on July 19 and since then it has been reported regularly. This is similar to a pattern last year. Unfortunately for photographers it is usually across the lake and out of range.

Locally, Jack Lasure photographed a Wandering Tattler at Admiral's Lagoon on July 27. The Tattler is quite rare along the local mid-Island shorelines. That means you're one up on me for Tattlers, Jack. I'm still haven't seen my first. After many failures searching for the Three-toed Woodpecker and the Wandering Tattler, I've taken them both off my photo wish list, so now it's up to them to find me.


My last visit to the nesting nighthawk was on July 30. At that time she was still looking very relaxed and comfortable on her rock nest while sitting on her two eggs. Incubation is supposed to take about 2.5 weeks which means the eggs should be hatching anytime.

July 21 - Meet Peewee - Peewee is the juvenile Pileated that has been frequenting my suet feeder with his father for the past three weeks. For the first week Mr. Pileated was often seen feeding Peewee. For the past two weeks the pair continues to travel together, but Peewee isn't being fed. I guess it's time for him to learn how to feed on his own.

July 21 - I've mentioned previously that White-crowned Sparrows are common nesting birds around the Mid-Island. It's not uncommon to see them collecting food for the nestlings.

Like many other passerines the White-crowned menu for nestlings is very high in protein.

July 24 - Finally, a Shorebird - A Greater Yellowlegs at French Creek was the first migrating stop-over shorebird I've seen this summer. In case you've forgotten, the longish, upturned bill tells you it is a Greater and anot a Lesser. I've also seen a few Black-bellied Plovers, Black Turnstones, and Black Oystercatchers, but they don't count as they're here for until next spring.

Admiral's Bald Eagle - When there's no shorebird action there's always the Bald Eagles. I'm not sure if this is the original Admiral's Bald Eagle as I heard rumors that it was hit by a vehicle and badly injured so this one might be a visitor.

There has been a nesting pair in this area for many years and there was another successful nest this year.

Another common scene along our shorelines until late fall are the Bonaparte's Gulls. They usually hang around until the salmon spawn is complete.

Black Oystercatchers are becoming more common now as the breeding season is almost over. You can always count on seeing a few at Admiral's Lagoon.

The Oystercatchers can be flighty or friendly depending on their mood. In this case it was content to stick around as long as I kept my distance which was about 10 meters.

I haven't had a cooperative Oystercatcher for quite awhile. I wonder if it was also feeling a bit lethargic from the heat.

July 27 - I had to go to Whiffin Spit to see my first peeps of the season. As expected there was a modest count of about 30, and they were all Western and Least. That is not to say there haven't been any peeps in the Parksville region. They just weren't available when I was looking for them.

Notice the regged and frayed edges to the feathers on the adults.

Here's a fresh juvenile. Notice the uniform neat and trim fringes on the feathers.

Okay, is this an adult or juvenile Least Sandpiper?

You can tell from the Yellow legs that it is a Least. Yes, the worn feathers indicate that it is an adult.

Nice, neat feathers. This is a plump little juvenile Least Sandpiper.

From the Lepper Colony

For the past week several Pine White butterflies have been frquenting my garden. They were very obliging while nectaring on the garden flowers.


July 27 - On the way home from Victoria I stopped at the Dock Road at Cowichan Bay to check on the Ospreys. Once again they had foresaken the nesting platforms and nested in the light standard. The two adults were in the nest but there were no signs of nestlings. A request for information on the BCVIBIRDS chat group was answered by Joe Ruhstein who confirmed seeing two nestlings a week earlier.


July 28 - I spent an hour this afternoon waiting for the Pileated Woodpeckers, but as anticipated, they did not cooperate. Meanwhile the Red-breasted Nuthatches were like perpetual motion flying back and forth from the seed feeder to wherever they were stashing their seeds. It's always fun watching them interact with the other birds at the feeder. Sometimes they wait patiently for their turn, but other times they just barge in.

There has been non-stop action with the Chestnut-backed Chickadees at the feeders. Thanks to a very successful breeding season, there has been a continuous flood of juveniles all summer.

It's always a heart-warming scene to see the juvenile begging with their wings fluttering until they get their meal.

Here's another begging baby.

As the saying goes, the squeaky baby gets the treat.


Bird Poster

My posters are on display at: Victoria - Swan Lake Nature House; Nanoose Bay - Credit Union; Courtenay - Graham's Jewellers























Comments, questions, or book orders?

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