Tuesday, September 27, 2016

a few more birds from Ucluelet

In general passerines were few and far between in the coastal woodlands with a few American Robins, Pacific Wrens, large numbers of Golden crowned Kinglets always very difficult to see, a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets, flocks of Chestnut-backed Chickadees and a few Dark-eyed Juncos plus one Audubon's Warbler and Song Sparrows on the woodland edge, offshore there was a passage of adult Pacific Divers but disappointingly none ever came close and I failed to get any decent images of a species I had hoped to see well in summer plumage

and so to some gulls

some people love them most people hate them! -- on Vancouver Island there appeared to me to be Glaucous-winged Gulls, no sign of any definite Western Gulls, American Herring Gulls, California Gulls (common) Mew / Short-billed Gulls (pretty common), Ring-billed Gulls (scarce), Bonaparte's Gulls very common around Campbell River, one Heermann's Gull was all I saw this time though they were common in early July on my last rip and Thayer's Gull and possibly some hybrids but most non juvs were in moult so adding complications to the ID
Glaucous-winged Gull, moulting adult, 3rd winter and a fresh juv - most juvs were very dark like this bird or even darker but all that were attended by adults seemed to have pure looking parents

more from the Pacific Rim September 15th

a similar pattern on the 15th with visits to more isolated beaches but fewer waders but it was much duller with a stronger wind and onshore waves attracting a myriad of surfers-- a flock of Sanderling held two Western Sandpipers and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper a new bird for my ABA list which took me to about 536 species from Ontario, BC, Alberta, California, Texas and Arizona -- considerably more species than I have seen in Britain in 48 years
Savannah Sparrows feeding in the tide wrack, kelp piles,

Pacific Rim

another beautiful sun rise at Ucluelet with gangs of gulls offshore and a Sooty Shearwater seen with several flocks of Guillemots -- during the day visited various beaches up to Tofino and then ended up back at the lighthouse-- some good birds including 40 Black Oystercatchers, 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 100+ Golden crowned Kinglets, Pacific Wrens, 10 Pacific Diver all adults in full summer with the striking white crown and nape a real give away feature even in flight, White-winged Sctoter and 20+ Rhinoceros Auklets offshore with 50 Pintail, Fox Sparrow, 5 Semi-palmated Plovers, a Hudsonian Whimbrel, Cedar Waxwings with juvs, 80+ Red Crossbills and the usual gull mixture -- also followed the Bird finding Guide to BC and visited the sewage works at Wickaninnish but found it had a high steel fence around the modernised ponds and only 10 Wood Ducks were present