Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer update… and BC birds

Although it's been a nice summer so far, it's been kind of difficult to enjoy birding since June because of the mosquitos.  Maybe it's just my patience getting thinner but it seems like they're worst every year.  We went on the Porcupine Lake trail last week and could barely stop to look for birds without a cloud of hungry mosquitos forming around our face… a cloud so thick my camera couldn't even focus pass them!  

Gary and I took a 10 day break from the mosquitos and went on a family trip to British Columbia in June.  It was my first time in BC and definitely not my last.  It was not a birding trip, but we did manage to see a lot of interesting life birds that we don't get to see around here, like Black Oystercatchers, Rhinoceros Auklets, Marbled Murrelets, Wester Tanager, Violet-green Swallows and lots of very vocal Spotted Towhees.  I can just imagine what one could see on an actual birding trip!    
Black Oystercatcher
Near Tofino, BC  (June 2014)
Maybe it's just a coincidence, but the birds don't seem as frightened around people as the birds around here. Where we stayed in Sechelt, we got to watch these Belted Kingfishers every day. They weren't bothered by our presence.

Belted Kingfishers
Sechelt, BC (June 2014)
And there's dozens of Great Blue Herons around every Harbour and they stand near people and moving boats.  I even watched Marbled Murrelets catching fish 15 meters from Tofino's busy public dock!  

Overall, it was a great trip; we visited Stanley Park in Vancouver, we stopped to see the magnificent Cathedral Forest on Vancouver Island, we stayed 2 days near Tofino and then we visited with family in Sechelt, where we explored lots of great trails.  The trees are spectacular and the best part of it all… there was no flies.  We saw a total of 3 mosquitos in 10 days.   

To view some of the birds I photographed in BC:  British Columbia Birds on Flickr