Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Centrial Island, Port Alberni, Tofino, North Island
Liron Gerstman just found 2 Pink-footed Geese in a flock of 200 Dusky Canada Geese in Saanich.

The birds are photographed and I have seen the LCD screen to confirm the ID. I will post the actual photos when received tonight.

Photo used with permission*

Map to location is 6225-6331 Lochside Dr, Central Saanich, BC

and the access is on Lochside Dr. off Dooley Rd. The birds are in a grassy field on the east side of the path.

Photo of field here:
Photo used with permission*

Congrats to young birder Liron Gertsman on his amazing find! If accepted as a non-escapee, this would be a first record for the Province of British Columbia.

Last edited by birdergirl on Jan 22 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Actually that is incorrect Cole.

They may not be escapees as they are rare to non existent in captivity in North America.

2 birds showed up in WA in 2003 and it was very controversial. The birds ultimately did not pass as accepted due to uncertain origin but many top birders in WA including some of those on the committee felt they were wild.

Many WA birders have it on their life and WA state list.

I suspect that this WA record may be revisited now due to these 2 BC birds. Most people thought they were likely wild geese but at the time they were still pretty rare in New England and Eastern Canada without any records in between. Since there has been a band recovery of birds banded in Europe found in North America (in Quebec). Their numbers in North America continue to climb. These birds probably flew over the northwest passage.

I see no reason why these birds would be ruled out immediately as escapees.

Here is a link where you can read about the WA State record on page 42:

The only and closest breeder to us that I can find is in Michigan:

Last edited by birdergirl on Jan 22 7:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Hi All

Just a cautionary (friendly) reminder that the fields South of Martindale (along Lochside Trail and towards Welch Rd ) are private property and we should be respectful of the owner's expressed wishes that no one wander onto the fields.

Jody Wells
Great points Jody.

I should have put that on my original message. I will add that to the Bird Alert.

Some more food for thought:

Pink-footed Goose populations have risen significantly over the past 50 years, due largely to increased protection from shooting on its wintering grounds. As a result the number of records in eastern North America have soared in the past 30 years.

I am getting several emails about these birds. The birds are of uncertain origin. The BC bird records committee will be the ones to determine if it is accepted or denied.

I gave my personal opinion that these birds should not be automatically dismissed as escapees. Steve Howell in the Rare Birds of North America says on p49 `The species is generally rare in captivity and these birds may have been wild` and that sentence is in reference to the WA State 2003 record.

My only job as the Coordinator of the BC Rare Bird Alert is to report the birds. I do so in order that people can decide for themselves if they want to chase it or not.

Just saw that these birds were first photographed by John Peetsma on Jan 18th in the same location. At the time though there were identified as Greater-white Fronted Geese.

Last edited by birdergirl on Jan 22 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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