Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10 with Les: Little Campbell River Area & White Rock Pier

Spent an abfab day with Les (aka Amblesidebirder on the local BC birding forum), meeting up with him at 8 a.m. at Campbell Valley Regional Park, and against the odds, the predicted rainshowers from Washington state remained away from us for the entire day.

Campbell Valley is a designated B.C. Wildlife Watch site, and we were not to be disappointed, as 3½ of my 6½ Lifers for the day were seen here (more on the "½" later). It's an extensive park, and even has an equestrian centre there, including equestrian trails (that we avoided like the plague, think about it: birders are almost always looking up, not down), although we only saw one horse during our four hours spent there.

As I waited at the gate for Les to arrive, my list already included numerous Spotted Towhees, Bushtits, and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, a Lifer for me. Fussy eaters, though, which I learned when foolishly offering them birdseed purchased at Reifel that turned out to be DUCK food, vs. their preferred sunflower seed diet. I also learned that they're difficult to photograph based on the hight volume of photos I had to trash, comparable to warblers as far as their activity level is concerned. I forgave them this, though, as they're pretty little things and a nice change from the usual Black-capped Chickadees:

These are views of the Shaggy Mane equestrian trail:


The next, albeit HALF lifer for the day was a Warbling Vireo (I had an "audio only" on it last year at Carden Alvar), forgive me the sad image quality, it's really only for my records:


This is the Listening Bridge in the park:

The wooded area was amazing, at times I expected to see the current film crew for this year's Blair Witch Project, or even stick-men "piles" around the next bend in the trail. Lucky for us, all we found was a Wilson's Warbler (another Lifer), my first Yellow Warbler for the year, and at times, Rufous Hummingbirds flying around us.


Our BOTD was the Black-headed Grosbeak, another Lifer, ho hum. This is the male:

This is the female, a bit on the drab side by comparison to the male, but still more colourful than her female Rose-breasted Grosbeak counterpart. We encountered several pairs here, as well as at our next stop:

We continued on to a new early-summer venue for Les, Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club Hatchery, which raises and releases salmon:

In the woods we heard several and managed to even see Western Wood-Pewees, another boring Lifer for me, as well as more Black-headed Grosbeak couples. Then we met Roy, a very gracious and hospitable worker at the hatchery, who shared our enthusiasm for birds, pointing out to us a nesting Red-Tailed Hawk. He then guided us around the woods, and eventually escorted us to a private pond where we enjoyed Mallards, a pair of Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Semipalmated Sandpipers (Lifer, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz), and this Long-Billed Dowitcher:

Several swallows were on the wing, no doubt due to the high insect population because of the hatchery, and I finally scored a photo of this Violet-green Swallow:

Many thanks go to Roy for his hospitality and generosity for spending so much time with Les and I!

A few hours later, we met Les' wife Kate in White Rock, and after scarfing down a quick meal together, we headed out onto the pier where off in the distance we saw Bonaparte's Gulls, White-winged Scoters, and this lone Black-bellied Plover:

Here's something we never see in Ontario waters:

Here's a less fortunate starfish on the boulder in front of the Gull, who I noticed through my binos was being attacked by the gull, but had mercifully stopped by the time I had my camera ready:

All in all an amazing day, my BOTD had to be the Black-headed Grosbeaks, even despite seeing two Trash Birds Bald Eagles, Ann, riding high on thermals north of Crescent Road on King George Highway as I made my way back home. 

My MOTD was this fellow, looking quite pleased with himself for maintaining his reputation as the B.C. Owl-whisperer. Not.

You can follow this link below to Les' blog where more accurate(!) details can be found on our "time-well-spent" day together, thanks so much again, Les!

1 comment:

Ann Brokelman said...

Janice you are very lucky to have such wonderful guide(s). Lifers are your new word for BC. I love the swallow shot - what a beautiful bird. Another week of great shots.