Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Centrial Island, Port Alberni, Tofino, North Island
Oct 28, 2015 Wed 3pm- the same American Black Duck male is back on Fountain Lake in Beacon Hill Park (pretty mauve markings in its wings). Last year it took a female Mallard for a mate but we didn't see any duckling crosses come out of it.
Mom Barred is still in the SEW. they had 2 owlets Apr 24 this year. the female juv, Muffy, stays in the cedars beside the Bandstand. a drifter was playing his harmonica on the bench by the Hawthorn tree and he said she flew into it to enjoy his music. Tuffy, the male Juv, was relocated downtown. He was sitting in an orange leafy tree on Yates St today at 1pm (between Douglas St and Blanshard St) with crows giving him away. The tourists were loving it.
Saw a couple Varied Thrush in the spiky tree at the end of Fountain Lake.
Who it looks like a great place to visit, luckily I have 3 full days in Victoria end of may 2016 :-)

I Will be traveling the Island North -> South is 2 total 2 weeks

Thanks for sharing and I will monitor this post.

sounds like you have a great trip planned Michael! we should have a new batch of Barred owlets ready to branch by then and the Horned Owl pair may still be around in the SE woods (out by the world's tallest totem pole).
you might want to stop at Swan Lake Nature Conservatory on your way into Victoria from Nanaimo/Duncan too. take a left on MacKenzie and watch for small wooden sign on your right. because the highway is divided, it's easier to access coming in.
Nov 21, 2015 Sat 3pm
as I mentioned to Mel in my email, found a "Harlan's" RTHA hunting at the bottom right of Beacon Hill, flying back up into the tree on Dallas Rd, about 100 yards from Circle Dr exit. Spent an hour taking 100 photos (which I would share but my flickr needs a new computer). It may still be there today. Beautiful dark colouring with white tail and white bottom half on wing inserts. Pretty shots when landing back in the tree with wings extended.
Also in the Park, Hermit Thrush on the ground foraging behind the Band Stand, VATH, the two Bald Eagles in the air hunting (2:15pm), herons and the Barred pair are in SEW hooting to each other in the afternoon. One of their owlets, the male "Tuffy" is living on Yates St, hopping on picnic tables in Market Square and being quite successful finding mice.
Nov 22-(sunny)Common Redpoll back again this year at Southgate & Quadra feeder
Barred Owlet_f in cedars behind Bandstand
Harlan's RTHA seen (and photographed) again in afternoon at Scotch Pine below flagpole, then chased by crows to its usual tree on Dallas Rd.
Nov 23-(rain)American Black Duck @ Ftn Lk, Cormorants flapping rain off wings on turtle log on Goodacre Lake, heron, Hooded Mergansers. the fountains have red & green Christmas lights in them at night.
Nov 28, 2015 Sat
-Harlan's Hawk put on quite a show at 1pm below Beacon Hill flagpole flying around, going to ground to hunt. It sure is a beauty. Liron, would love to see one of your shots posted here if you got it in flight.
-Golden Eagle on Dallas Rd Beach? a keen observer (but not a birder) was exclaiming about the large dark Eagle he saw. Considering they have been spotted down the road at Oak Bay, it's possible it stopped here too.
-COHA Juv was chasing a peachick at the pines right of the Zoo. the peachick is half the size of a peahen now; the Mom peahen chased the COHA away.
-male Northern Shovelers are showing up on Fountain Lake to mate up with the females who have been present for a while.
-Great Blue heron male Juv has been strutting around trying to impress a female. She makes a big squawk every time he advances and flies away. Poor guy.
-some ice on the ponds as it's -2 wind chill. good shots of Mallards skating
-VATH numerous
-Barred Owl Dad found in his favourite old cedar tree at Heywood & Oliphant.
-Barred Owlet found in the woods at Mile 0
-after they emptied Goodacre Lake for repairs last year, plump bottom fish 3" long have returned (stocked?). got a shot of a Seagull catching and eating one
-Dec 19 is our Christmas Bird Count in Victoria. Hope for better weather this year as last year we had gale force winds.
Dec 19 CBC: Christmas Bird Count today in Victoria. The weather was a decided improvement from the gale force winds of last year. 8 degrees, no wind, Santa at Clover Point and 2 guys swimming in the Pacific Ocean, brrrr.
A milder winter the weather channel keeps saying, and at Gov House, the Chinese Cherry tree is blooming already much to the delight of a pair of Anna's Hummingbirds enjoying the nectar. Aside from the usual Varied Thrush, Steller's Jays, Pacific & Bewick Wrens, Barred Owl, (Pacific Black Merlin & Juv RTHA, Harlan's RTHA, Yellow Warblers of recent weeks), a Peregrine Falcon was up hunting over Moss & Fairfield @11am. Found Mom & Dad Barred & little Muffy in various places in Beacon Hill Park.
By nikev
Hi there,

I am going to be in Victoria for a week at Christmas, and was wondering if somebody could point me at good locations to walk in that area and maybe see some birds.

Good places (specific locations) in Beacon Hill Park would be greatly appreciated (as well as other locations on the island not too far away). I don't understand all the abbreviations on this thread. :D


wonderful! welcome to Victoria. you will get 4 sunny days over the holidays which is great for birding. where are you coming from?
first suggestion, buy a Victoria & Southern Island red covered street atlas at the checkout wicket at London Drugs, Yates & Vancouver Sts. $8.95
second, the acronyms for birds are here:
ie VATH=Varied Thrush RTHA=Red-tailed Hawk COHA=Cooper's Hawk etc.
the only other short form is SEW=South East Woods section by the world's tallest totem pole (just ask/it's past the Children's Zoo down the circle drive).
the Park is actually not that large but is crammed with Owls, Hawks, Eagles, Great Blue heron, American Black Duck and other birds. you can also walk a block over to Clover Point for sea birds. close by up past Moss & Rockland is Government House. check out the lower area called the Woodlands. walk around Cedar Hill Golf Course and King's Pond. walk out the Galloping Goose Trail from downtown to Swan Lake Nature Conservatory. if you have a vehicle at any time, drive to Goldstream Provincial Park, Viaduct Flats, Panama Flats.
There are two rare birds in residential areas at the moment: check the Redwing thread and Yellow-breasted Chat thread. both threads indicate the exact address these birds are at. and check eBird link on top left of this website home page for daily sightings. Have a Happy Holiday and a fun time birding! Cheryl
nikev wrote:Hi there,

I am going to be in Victoria for a week at Christmas, and was wondering if somebody could point me at good locations to walk in that area and maybe see some birds.

Good places (specific locations) in Beacon Hill Park would be greatly appreciated (as well as other locations on the island not too far away). I don't understand all the abbreviations on this thread. :D


A walk thru Beacon Hill Park especially in garden areas will prove very fruitful. Here are some of the birds I photographed in the park last week,

ImageRuby-crowned Kinglet by Cory, on Flickr

ImageBewick's Wren by Cory, on Flickr

ImageDowny Woodpecker by Cory, on Flickr

Good birding
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