Tuesday 17th September 2013

   Last day on Vancouver Island. Got up and couldn't wait to look for the Harlequins, but after breakfast, when the lights a bit better!!!!!

   A walk along the beach was a good start to the day. The Harlequin Duck were still there, but the light was really awkward still. Bonapartes and Mew Gulls were there. A Woodpecker drumming kept us guessing for a while, but was great, because it kept us looking in the trees. Female Crossbill, Song Sparrows and a Browncreeper, then a Northern Flicker and finally the drummer, a Pileated Woodpecker, lifer again!

Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker

Sadly, we were running out of time, and Mark was getting desperate to go to the Deep Bay spit. So, we set off up the coast. We got there, and it turned out to be a really good decision. There were small flocks of House Finches in the trees, and also Audubons Warblers, Song Sparrows were also there. So, down onto the spit, which was all pebbles, the water was flat clam, but was reflecting the sun badly in one direction. So, obviously we looked the other way. There were flocks of Scoters, this time White-winged & Surf Scoters, Harlequin Ducks too, but all too distant. Bonapartes Gulls, a couple of juvenile Red-necked & Western Grebes, were also on show.

Bonapartes Gull (Adult Winter)

Bonapartes Gull (1st Winter)
Western Grebe
Red-necked Grebe (Juvenile)
    While all this was going on, we were still looking for our hoped for targets, Murrelets. But, we were losing hope, until….theres one. Bit far out, but definitely a Murrelet, after a while we decided it was a Marbled Murrelet. Lifer for both of us that one. Then i found another, much closer in. In the end we think we probably had 4, but the second one was the best, as you will see below. Just as we were walking back to the car, a small flock of birds flew in, and landed on the beach…American Buff-bellied Pipits.

   Mark decided he wanted a closer look at the Scoters, especially the White-wingeds. We had about an hour, before we had to leave, so he walked one way, and i went the other. He was happy, he got his views, but i got Harlequin Duck shots, and was happy too. Not quite as good as you see from Iceland, but better than yesterday and this mornings efforts.

    Sadly the ferry produced nothing again. We did have a quick look around the harbour in Vancouver itself. But, not much to report, apart from Gulls (including some hybrids), Double-crested Cormorants, Song Sparrow and Great Blue Heron. Meeting a friend of mine, Shaun, later for a beer, he lives in Vancouver nowadays, and is doing quite well for himself too. Could be quite a bit of shite being talked tonight, as thats where our conversation normally end up!!!

Marbled Murrelet
Marbled Murrelet
Harlequin Ducks

Harlequin Duck
White-winged Scoters
Surf Scoter

No comments:

Post a Comment