Monday, November 16, 2015

Tufted Duck at Salt Spring Island, Nov. 15

On the morning of Nov. 15, John Sprague found a Tufted Duck in Outer Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island. The bird was floating in a raft of 51 Red-breasted Mergansers, and several grebes. He described the bird as a juvenile.

The bird was about 300 m away near Third Sisters Island, and good scope views were obtained.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

BC FIRST: ORIENTAL GREENFINCH in Victoria, Nov. 9th

On November 9th Geoffrey Newell found a finch near the corner of Beach Dr. and Newport Ave. at the Victoria Golf Course at 12:00 pm. The bird was reported to be very vocal, calling from a tree top and roof top. Initially identified as a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, photos that were subsequently posted appear to show an Oriental Greenfinch.

The call heard was described as a "rather soft, yet slightly husky, and obviously finch-like chortle, somewhat like 'prech prech prech' with 3-4 notes together".

The bird was not found during searches on Nov. 11th.


Two photos were obtained. The bottom picture here is a crop of one of these photos.
Photos: Geoffrey Newell


There are six subspecies of Oriental Greenfinch. Only one, C. s. kawarahiba, is generally considered to be able to vagrate to North America owing to its breeding range and migratory habits. Although the photo is poor, the deep chestnut breast and perhaps head pattern seem to fit this subspecies.

This bird was confirmed by the BC Bird Records Commitee as the first confirmed record for the province of British Columbia.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

NORTHERN PARULA at Vaseux Lake - Nov 5

This morning Jim Ginns, Janna Leslie and Paul Graham found a beautiful immature male Northern Parula! The bird was first seen at 9:15 am and was still present when they left at 10:45 am. It was foraging in the birch trees just before the start of the board walk. The bird stayed on the north side of the trail for the most part actively foraging in the birch. Paul Graham photographed the bird.

*Update - The bird has not been relocated on Nov 6th.*

Photo: Paul Graham

Monday, November 2, 2015

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Victoria - November 2

A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was found the morning of November 2nd in Victoria near the Chinese Cemetary (at Crescent Rd/Penzance Rd east of Clover Point) by Mike and Barb McGrenere. The bird was seen until about 10:15 am. The bird was in some low bushes at the point before flying north of the point towards some houses and into a pine tree. It was reportedly calling and foraging.

The bird was not relocated on November 3rd.

Photo: Aziza Cooper