Apr. 1/05 - Spring birding continues to heat up on Vancouver Island with the first Common Yellowthroat being reported in Victoria (Mar. 28) and a very rare Say's Phoebe reported in north Qualicum (Mar. 31). (The only Say's Phoebe reported last year was in Victoria.) Meanwhile, Brant numbers continue to grow in the Mid-Island, and I was fortunate enough to enjoy a spectacle of about 700 feeding on the incoming tide at Parksville Bay on Mar. 27. I did take a look for the say's Phoebe this morning , but no luck. However, it wasn't a wasted trip as thousands of Greater Scaup, Surf Scoters, and Bonaparte Gulls were in close to the beach at the south end of Qualicum. It was a sight worth seeing.

MAIN ATTRACTION - Large flocks of Brant continue to accumulate in the Parksville area. The rising tide in the evening was the right time to see them in Parksville Bay (Mar. 29). The Brant will be the guests of honor at the upcoming Brant Festival on Apr. 8 - 10 in Parksville and Qualicum.

SPARKLING JEWELS - The female Rufous lacks the garish gorget of the male, but her exquisite cluster of rubies, emeralds, and diamonds is just as pretty.

MOVING TARGETS - I spent an hour at the Morningstar Ponds on Tuesday trying to photograph flying swallows. I finally gave up and lowered myself to a Violet-green on its nest box at Craig Bay.

SAN MALO DUCK - Male green-winged Teal

RUBY-CROWN FALLOUT - Ruby-crowned Kinglets seemed to be everywhere on Mar. 30. I saw about 30 at the north end of Dolphin Lake, and Guy found them everywhere he went. On Apr. 3, I stopped at Dolphin again and was treated to a beautiful solo singing performance by a Ruby-crowned showing its ruby crown.

EVERYTHING'S DUCKY IN QUALICUM - The herring roe buffet continues in Qualicum with ducks and gulls happily gorging themselves before they leave for their breeding grounds. However, last year the herring spawn stretched from Denman to Thetis Island, and the duck flocks seemed to be huge in comparison to this year. This year the spawn seemed to extend only from Bowser to Parksville. Does anyone else share this observation?

Male Greater Scaup


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