Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 2015 Hoary Redpoll, Surfbird, Pine Grosbeak, Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Bewicks and Pacific Wren, Lesser Goldfinch, Trumpeter Swan 20UK

I thought December was going to be a slow month but it started to heat up around the middle of the month when I got a lifer Hoary Redpoll.  
This Long-billed Curlew has been frequenting Blackies Spit for a few months.
It was keeping company with some Marbled Godwits. 

A Black Oystercatcher couldn't decide whether to fly or stay.  It was sort of "on the fence" at Blackies Spit.
A Eurasian Widgeon was also at Blackies Spit.  This one doesn't appear to be a pure strain.
I took a picture of the collar on this Trumpeter Swan and sent it to be recorded.
I received this information in 2 days.  Dian was excited to find it was banded on her birthday.
This line represents the shortest distance the swan could have flown from Galena Ak.  It is 1650 miles. 
Coopers Hawk on Sumas Prairie.
A White-crowned Sparrow was being an agitator.
Here is the White-crowned after his toilette.
A Surfbird on the Victoria waterfront.
Whenever I see a Surfbird it reminds of a hike up Surfbird Mountain on the Yukon's Dempster Highway.  We were accompanied by Sylvia Frisch.  Her father had discovered Surfbird's nests on rocky mountain ridges on this mountain.  He was the first person to record their nesting locations in Canada, in 1978.  Here is Dian and Sylvia at the summit of the mountain in 2011.
A view of the summit of Surfbird Mountain and our hiking group.  While we rested here a Surfbird flushed up a few meters away.
HOARY REDPOLL.  Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver got our lifer for the year.
Here is the Hoary (in centre) with Common Redpolls.
Hoary Redpoll
Common Redpoll.  Shows streaks on vent area.
Tail and unmarked undertail detail of the Hoary.
Common Redpoll had more rosey tones than the Hoary.
Burnaby Mountain had reports of Pine Grosbeaks.
Female Pine Grosbeaks display a variety of colors such as yellow and russet.  However immature males are difficult to distinguish from females.  The red tints on this bird lead me to believe it is an immature male.
The male is quite conspicuous.
  • The tameness and slow-moving behavior of the Pine Grosbeak gave rise to the local name in Newfoundland of "mope."  My mother used to tell me not to mope around.
This Grosbeak almost landed on Mark W's head, reinforcing its trusting disposition. 
A Bewicks Wren popped up on a fence post along the Matsqui Dike.
I joined a few people in Glen Valley to search for a reported Winter Wren.  These birds are difficult to distinguish from our more common Pacific Wren.  The consensus was that there wasn't enough evidence to support a Winter Wren although the song was a little "weird".  There is the possibility that this is not the same bird that was first reported but it was in the exact location. 
Pacific Wren-these pictures haven't been retouched so as to give the most realistic image.
Pacific Wren 
The last day of the year produced a Lesser Goldfinch. 
American Goldfinches are common here but the above Lesser Goldfinch is quite rare.  It is normally found midway through Oregon and south of that.
The Lesser Goldfinch Finch is at 2379 Chardonnay Lane in Abbotsford.  It is on property with a boutique hotel called "Brookside Inn"where the owner welcomes birders.  If you are travelling from afar to see this bird you won't find a better place to stay.  See their website:   The property has many bird feeders and birds are plentiful.  Don't forget to sign the guest book on the bench.
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