Subject: Vancouver BC Bird alert Aug 31 Date: Sep 1 13:16:18 1994 From: Michael Price - Michael_Price at mindlink.bc.ca
VANCOUVER RARE BIRD ALERT sponsored by the Vancouver Natural History Society.
Area: VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA (abbrev-VCR) Period: MON AUG 22, 1994 to SUN AUG 28, 1994, updated weekly Call: 604-737-9910 (hot line updated daily, or as necessary) To report: Same Compiler: Michael Price Transcriber: Same Contact: Michael_Price at mindlink.bc.ca
Featured birds, in date order, are: FOX SPARROW FRANKLIN'S GULL PARASITIC JAEGER HEERMAN'S GULL LONG-BILLED CURLEW SURFBIRD MARBLED GODWIT STILT SANDPIPER PEREGRINE FALCON RED KNOT THREE AMIGOS
For sick or injured birds please call: WILDLIFE RESCUE 526-7275 MONIKA'S WILDLIFE SHELTER 882-0908 SPCA ANIMAL EMERGENCY 879-7343 If you have a report, be sure to leave your name and telephone number/e-mail address, for our records. If you're calling the hotline and you want to skip the update to leave your message, press the *STAR* button on any touchtone telephone, otherwise please wait for the long tone at the end of the update.
TRANSCRIPT (some editing for continuity):
TUE AUG 30 Reporting rarities is a little like reporting on royalty: glamorous but not much to do with daily life. Sometimes it's nice just to remind ourselves of the bird world's average joes. Of course, as with humans, there's no such thing as average-each species has its story to tell which is both singular and fascinating. At present, for example, in what can be called the Hidden Migration, many birds which we regard as permanent and common residents in Vancouver are being joined by their counterparts from more northern ranges, so if we look intently enough we'll note an influx of birds such as BROWN CREEPERS, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, DOWNY WOODPECKERS, WINTER WRENS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and NORTHERN FLICKERS, all species most of us take for granted while we head for the hot shorebirding spots. They may not be as glamorous as rarities, but their migrations, though concealed by large local and non-migratory populations is just as much a part of the Great Wheel's turning. Some sightings today include a male BLUE GROUSE giving territorial 'booming' calls in the vicinity of Suicide Bluffs in Mt Seymour Provincial Park in N VCR, as well as 2 MERLINS in the Dog Mt area of Mt Seymour PP acting suspiciously like a territorial pair. At the Beach Grove Lagoon at the E end of 12th Ave in Tsawwassen today, Aug 30, there was 1 PEREGRINE FALCON, a juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER, and 1 juv. SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. Up to 15 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS were with 20 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS on the foreshore of the Roberts Banl Coalport Jetty in Ladner.
MON AUG 29 A survey of the swallow flock over Deer L. in Burnaby located 2 juvenile BANK SWALLOWS; also here were 4 OSPREYS. SUN AUG 28 There has been no relocation of the *BAR-TAILED GODWIT* on Boundary Bay since Sunday, Aug 21.
A juvenile/Basic1 FRANKLIN'S GULL was along the White Rock beach about 1.5 km SE of the White Rock Pier, in a flock of about 200 BONAPARTE'S GULLS.
A SOLITARY SANDPIPER, behaving strangely, was at the Beach Grove Lagoon at the E end of 12th Ave. in Tsawwassen. The bird was observed flying low over the water, repeatedly and energetically diving into the shallow water chest-first. SAT AUG 27 People looking for the THREE AMIGOS today must have thought they were seeing double: 2 WHIMBREL, 2 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS. Only 1 MARBLED GODWIT, though.
Iona Is. was busy today. The first PARASITIC JAEGER of the southbound migra- tion appeared off the far end of the S Jetty at Iona Is Regional Pk in NW Richmond, a light-morph adult harassing some of the 150+ terns in the area. A group of gulls roosting at the end of the jetty this morning contained 1 juvenile HEERMAN'S GULL. The end of a jetty 4 km out in Georgia Strait is about the last place you'd look for a WINTER WREN, but there it was, almost certainly a migrant waiting for nightfall before continuing on. In the flocks of WESTERN, LEAST, and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS on the settling ponds, there up to 3 STILT SANDPIPERS, 2 juveniles and a basic-plumaged adult (a plumage *very* rarely-seen in these here parts) in the NE settling pond at the Iona Is Sewage Treatment Plant, and another juvenile was on the Outer Pond to the W of the plant. Up to 26 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were also on the NE settling pond. A small flock of LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS in the Outer Pond contained 1 juvenile SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER. Finally from Iona, a juvenile HERRING GULL on the log booms to the E of the causeway linking Sea and Iona Islands was somewhat early.
At the Beach Grove Lagoon at the E end of 12th Ave in Tsawwassen a PEREGRINE FALCON came screaming in and cleaned all the shorebirds out except for 1 RUDDY TURNSTONE which sat tight until the falcon left before resuming its feeding.
Another PEREGRINE FALCON, an adult bird, fed on a pigeon atop a telephone pole at the intersection of Prince Albert and W. 41st Avenue in E VCR.
The first FOX SPARROW of the southbound migration appeared at the Reifel Refuge on Westham Is. in Ladner. Other migrants arriving in the area are DOWNY WOODPECKERS, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, and NORTHERN FLICKERS, as well as waterbirds such as HORNED and RED-NECKED GREBES.
FRI AUG 26 A flock of 21 *SURFBIRDS* and 5 BLACK TURNSTONES at the far end of the Iona S Jetty in Iona Island Regional Pk in NW Richmond. About 10 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were along the Boundary Bay foreshore just to the E of the S end of 112th St. in S Delta. Single juvenile STILT SANDPIPERS were reported today from the NE settling pond at the Iona Island Sewage Treatment Plant in Richmond and 112th St, where the bird divided its time bewteen a grassy slough beside the Boundary Bay dike about 100 meters (not 200 as stated previously) east of 112th St and the slough in front of the pumphouse just to the W of 112th. Up to 5 OSPREYS, either migrants or family groups or both, were at Deer L in Burnaby.
About 20 COMMON TERNS were off Spanish Banks along the S shore of Burrard Inlet W of Jericho Pk in VCR.
THU AUG 25 A *MARBLED GODWIT* was along the Blaine Jetty in Blaine, Washington, just across the Canada-U.S. border. Also here were migrant flox of about 120 COMMON TERNS and a similar number of BONAPARTE'S GULLS.
At the S end of 112th St there were 3 GREEN HERONS, possibly a family group, in the slough behind the pumphouse just to W of 112th and in a slough beside the Boundary Bay dike about 200 meters to the E of 112th there were 2 juv. STILT SANDPIPERS feeding with YELLOWLEGS.
A migrant bird showing the characteristics of either a female or juvenile YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was seen in what, for this species, is the rather unusual location of halfway out the S Jetty at Iona Is.
2 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS were at Ferguson Pt. in Stanley Pk, a location at which several OYSTERCATCHERS spent the 1993-94 winter.
WED AUG 24 A juvenile STILT SANDPIPER could still be found on the NE settling pond at the Iona Is. Sewage Treatment Plant in Richmond. On the Iona Causeway linking Sea and Iona Islands, there were 25 adult and 13 juvenile CASPIAN TERNS.
A regular flight at dusk of migrating COMMON NIGHTHAWKS over the last week and a half which has been averaging about three birds per day jumped to 6, then 9 birds in the last two days, and reached 10 birds tonight over the Champlain Hgts. area of SE VCR.
A single BARN OWL was hunting at Colony Farms in Port Coquitlam.
It's clear that a number of PEREGRINE FALCONS are migrating through the Greater Vancouver Checklist Area. A PEREGRINE FALCON at Belcarra Pk at the E end of Burrard Inlet was unsuccessful in hunting shorebirds and tried to relieve a passing OSPREY of its catch. No luck there either. Another PEREGRINE, a juvenile 'anatum'- type bird, was at Beach Grove in Tsawwassen, where there were also 6 juv. SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPERS.
At Iona Is Regional Pk in NW Richmond, at least some of the VIRGINIA RAIL family is still there; 3 were seen there, 2 unaged birds and 1 juvenile.
TUE AUG 23 At Blackie Spit in Crescent Beach a flock of about 450 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS contained an unidentified *GOLDEN PLOVER* and 1 RED KNOT in worn alternate plumage, as well as the adult LONG-BILLED CURLEW, adult MARBLED GODWIT, and the adult WHIMBREL which comprise the Three Amigos. A juvenile PEREGRINE FALCON, ascribed to the 'tundrius' race, successfully hunted ROCK DOVES at the S end of 96th St in S Delta.
MON AUG 22 2 HEERMAN'S GULLS were off Point Roberts, Washington.
At Beach Grove in Tsawwassen were a juv. RED-NECKED PHALAROPE and 1 RUDDY TURNSTONE. An adult PEREGRINE FALCON piled into a KILLDEER, finishing it off quickly.
Up to 5 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS were along the Roberts Bank Coalport Jetty.
A GREEN HERON was at the somewhat unusual location of the E side of Point Atkinson at Lighthouse Park in W VCR.
The Vancouver Natural History Society, in conjunction with Langara College's Continuing Education Dept., are presenting a series of bird identification workshops this fall. The cost of each workshop is c$40 and includes an evening in the classroom and a fieldtrip on the weekend. The first workshop will be on shorebird identification and takes place on Tuesday September 06. For further information please call Continuing Education at Langara College at (604) 323-5322 or Dick Cannings at (604) 822-4665 weekdays or (604) 734-9489 weekends and evenings.
If you have a report or a query about bird identification or Vancouver birding please call:
Michael Price at 731-4715 Mark and Eleni Wynja at 438-6529 (Other contact names omitted on request)
Thanks for calling the Vancouver Bird Alert and Good Birding!