I must apologize, I just noticed how long it has been since my last post! In fact, 2 full weekends have passed since I last posted anything about birding! I had been hoping to just post a link to www.naturalestnaturalist.blogspot.com for weekend trip reports, but he has been busy writing about moths, bugs, Garry Oak ecosystems, and other boring stuff.
Migration has been happening all over the island the past couple of weeks, and I have been trying to take full advantage of it. This is the time of year when not only are passerines showing up all over the place, but shorebirds pass through, finding refuge in any wet field or shoreline that will sustain or shelter them. The Black-necked Stilts first reported a week and a bit ago are still hanging around Maber Flats as of noon yesterday and were showing well while 3 Sora called from the shelter of the marshy areas, one being kind enough to briefly show itself.
Birding the last couple of days turned up a few new year birds for me, among them Warbling Vireos at Mount Tolmie on both Saturday and Sunday, Olive-sided Flycatcher at the same on Sunday, Lesser Yellowlegs at Panama Flats on Saturday, and the previously mentioned Sora at Maber Flats on Sunday. This gives me a year-to-date total of 178 species, 9 ahead of last years pace. If I can keep it up, I might actually be successful in topping the Victoria Checklist Area record of 251 this year! (For those of you just tuning in, last year I hit 246)
Black-headed Grosbeaks, Western Tanagers, and Whimbrel are starting to be reported, but we are still lacking decent numbers of Blue-winged Teal, and some shorebirds, such as Marbled Godwit and Ruddy Turnstone, have yet to make an appearance. There are regularly 10-12 Caspian Terns at Esquimalt Lagoon, and small numbers of peeps and dowitchers almost anywhere there is water. Vaux`s Swifts are being seen regularly at Panama Flats, and a couple of Wandering Tattlers popped in at Ogden Point last week.
Just about anything could show up almost anywhere in the checklist area this month, as was demonstrated last year when we had a Lesser Nighthawk, Willet, and Sabine`s Gull show up on the same day!
See you out there!