Monday, February 22, 2010

Feb 13: Late Start to Sunshine Coast

This morning I was supposed to meet up with Doug Brown for some high-paced birding along the southern regions of the Sunshine Coast. BUT when I got to my parking spot in East Vancouver I discovered that my car had been towed! Not a happy way to start the day, but luckily my good friend Devin Mackenzie knew the bus system well enough to get us downtown then underneath the Granville Street Bridge to "Buster's" impound lot. Still it was 2pm by the time Doug and I finally made our way across to Langdale on the ferry. We started off in an upscale neighborhood where a few feeders attract ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS. Despite the rain and wind I did eventually manage to find this gorgeous singing male!

It was definitely great birding this area with Doug (who lived in this area for over 5 years during the 90's), since he knows exactly where to go for practically everything on my "want-list." After picking up the hummingbird however, we headed over to Kelly Road in Gibsons to look for a bird Doug hasn't seen on the Sunshine Coast: Western Scrub-Jay. Apparently late afternoon in wind and rain is not an ideal situation for finding jays (not even a Steller's) but we did get onto some good stuff including a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER mixed in with some chickadees and kinglets.

Had my car not been towed earlier in the day-- allowing us to get to Sechelt in the morning-- we would have headed straight to Mission Point for low-tide when flocks of turnstones and surfbirds are often accompanied by a dozen or so Rock Sandpipers. This species is my main target for the trip since it is tough elsewhere in BC and most importantly I've never seen one before!!! At dusk we met up with local birder and all around great guy Arnold Skei who confirmed that around 20 Rock Sandpipers had indeed been present earlier in the day. Good news for tomorrow I hope! Apparently the birds (along with the other "rockpipers") head to White Islet (about 1km offshore) each evening to roost.

Other yearbirds today included: Harlequin Duck, Black Scoter, and Bonaparte's Gull.

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