Sunday, 9 March 2008

Vancouver Island - Inland tour

A Saturday tour of various sites with Bill Dancer, started at Bowkers with the usual suspects present, four Lesser Yellowlegs being the high point. From there, we climbed (by car) to the summit of Mt Douglas - not much about but we did get brief views of a male Varied Thrush. The Minsroad electricity substation was next, producing numerous Pine Siskin and another new 'tick' - Red Crossbill. We also had Purple Finch and on a small pool a pair of Hooded Merganser, Bufflehead and Ring-necked Duck.

Nice views of Chestnut-backed Chickadees in the pine trees too!

One bird I was hoping to see was American Dipper, so off we went to Goldstream and lunch. This area with mighty Red Cedar towering above the gravel bed stream is almost like a 'rain forest'. Virtually all the lower branches of trees were coated in moss, an amazing site.

A walk down stream from the access bridge drew a blank and we had retraced our steps, virtually giving up when - what should appear form under the bridge.....

This juvenile (distinctive white eyelid) American Dipper was certainly not camera shy and entertained us for at least 20 minutes. Diving under the water, surfing and just generally posing, it was an all action encounter!!

Job done, we moved on and at our next stop with thermals getting their act together, so did a Turkey Vulture! Quite distant but a much needed bird we had long expected to encounter! You get there in the end!

Yet another tick at our final stop - the duck pond at kings golf course. A pair of Canvasback on offer. The male refusing to wake up and the female backing into the light made this a record shot only opportunity.

Oh and here are ducks!!

New birds from the past couple of days - Black Scoter, Long tailed Duck and Red-throated Diver added from the latest ferry crossing. Great stuff - 102 not out!!

Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Red-throated Diver
Brandts Cormorant
Varied Thrush
American Dipper
Turkey Vulture
Red Crossbill

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