Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Centrial Island, Port Alberni, Tofino, North Island
About 10 Varied Thrush were eating bugs off of the ground today beside the large duck pond near where the herons like to hang out. Right behind a sitting bench with the name Hazel on it. I forget the last name but I remember the first name was Hazel. Pretty cool sighting. I have only seen one or two of them before usually by themselves. It was neat to see a group of them like that. A hermitage I believe is the correct term. Also, a couple of male and female Lesser Scaup's are currently roaming the pond. They are quite fun to watch as they enjoy diving quite frequently. Cheers,

Happy Birding.
Jan 25, 2016 11 am-Bald Eagle juv sitting in Douglas Fir to the far right of totem (closer to Dallas Rd). I can see why some mistake it for a Golden from its colouring. It has also been seen eating a fish on the bench (grassy area) of Finlayson Pt. American Black Duck continues a second season at Fountain Lake. Also saw a Mallard-Pintail cross. River Otter did a swim through Goodacre Lake in Dec. Lots of Great Blue heron and the resident Barred Owl family is around, the little one often in plain sight in the cedar hedge behind the Bandstand. thanks for adding your finds Greatblue. and Nick, Varied Thrush always seem to find you!
A couple blocks from Beacon Hill Park at 415 Michigan St in birch trees is a dozen Common Redpoll. they float down to the 200 block by the Oswego birdhouse. If you get that far, check out the Black-legged Kittiwake and Belted Kingfisher at Ogden Point Breakwater. a fisherman was catching Kelp Greenlings yesterday while a hopeful River Otter kept running out on the support rocks eyeing his bag of fish.
Sept 4, 2016 5pm SEW (south-east woods near totem) outside work yard-the Dad Barred "Mr" and an adult COHA chasing each other around. pretty entertaining.
this year, the 3 Barred owlets (one female, two males) were born in the top of a broken off 45' douglas fir about April 1st (3 weeks earlier than normal). we were able to observe their whole cycle of branching, learning to fly and hunt. at 4 months old, they were venturing into the Park to hunt on their own. We see the female owlet "Mystery" between the Watering Can & Fountain Lake, and a male owlet "Angel" sitting 3' over the creek by the red Chinese bridge. Pete, the rascal, has not been seen lately, so hopefully he has been taken somewhere else. He often jumped on top of his sister and she would grab his talon and suspend him over a branch and drop him. There are plenty of bunnies, garter snakes, mice etc around.
Lots of CEDW chasing flies at Goodacre Lake. Keeping my eye out on Dallas Rd for hawks going through to Sooke.
Oct 6-Hermit Thrush on Lover's Lane path 30' from Cook St washrooms
1 Barred owlet hunting at chinese bridge, 2 at SEW near totem (one eating squirrel)
Sept 24-Chelsea spotted GHOW owlet at Heywood & Oliphant in horse chestnut on edge of Park. I found it Sep 25 as well.
was out at Goldstream Park yesterday. no Chum running up the river yet. one Bald Eagle, some Turkey Vultures passing over, the American Dipper in the river, and lots of baby Salamanders if you flip over a small log. beautiful fall colours.
Oct 11, 2016 activity, noon.
-Bald Eagle was back sitting on the totem pole on Sunday says a Swiss tourist
-American Black Duck back on Fountain Lake
-Kingfisher rattling around Goodacre Lake
-Red Admiral butterfly (with black wings, white polka dots and red stripes) flitting around a Garry Oak right of Alpine Garden
-two Juv COHA chasing each other under Eagle's nest by children's playground. adult hunting around rocks in rhodo garden between Bandstand and Douglas St.
-Barred Dad out in SEW at hunting tree midway down Lover's Lane.
-warblers and Kinglets
Oct 13, 2016 Thursday 11:15-2pm
-Bald Eagle pair carrying grass from field and twigs from tree tops to shore up nest by Children's Playground.
-Varied Thrush by leaf mulch pile back of Bandstand.
-COHA adult hunting in pines across road from totem.
-American Black Duck at Fountain Lake
-single heron
-Pacific Wrens
-wild Nootka Roses blooming on Blair Island bush where herons sit (Goodacre Lk).
-2 raccoon families: one with one baby, the other has 5 little ones
-no owls seen today but someone has a campfire setup going where the Dad Owl hunts. reported to Bylaw Enforcement. (right under two low fir trees; one spark and the SEW woods will be a goner including the world's tallest totem pole and all the wonderful wildlife in there!)
Oct 23, 2016 Sunday
-saw all 3 Barred Owlets stretched out from SEW (totem) to Mile 0 & Holland Pt
-River Otter in Goodacre Lake eating bottom fish
-RTHA hunting low at Beacon Hill
Clover Pt-4 Cackling geese, 3 Black Turnstone, Surf Scoter, Pelagic Cormorant Imm (totally black) and 4 NSHOV at Harrison Pond
Oct 31, 2016 SEW- a Mother Owl is a Mother Owl! Robert came around the corner from the totem this morning and saw the Mom GHOW sitting in the Big Leaf Maple and two of the BARRED owlets sitting together on a branch of the same tree right below her. (about 20' from the Barred nest tree.) The Horned and Barred have co-existed in this woods for portions of the year for years without harming each other (the Eagles & RTHA seem the biggest threat), probably due to the abundance of food in the Recycling Compound. The Barred owlets do wander down to Holland Pt fields to hunt mice but come back to visit each other in the SEW, Haven't spotted the GHOW owlet lately. Robert also saw the majestic four-point Buck and the 7 little raccoons with their parents.

Nov 4 Fri SEW-Mom GHOW sleeping in a Big Leaf Maple (no leaves so she was easy to spot) 1:25pm about 30 yards from the Cook St washrooms. Didn't see any unusual birds; just Kinglets, Towhees etc.

Nov 3 (side note) Swan Lake- sunny, very warm 14 degrees. Mom Barred sunning 30' up in a douglas fir near Nature House. A 7 yr old boy was running back and forth to the Parking Lot yelling "I'm going to tell everyone about the Owl", another budding birder in the making. a cricket was lethargically dragging himself across the Galloping Goose wondering if this was Spring. all this rain has been confusing the flowers too. some Camellias, normally in bloom Jan/Feb are in full bloom at Gov House.
Nov 7, 2016 Monday 12:45pm in squirrel alley behind the bandstand
My story for the day: The Barred Owlet, the Grey Squirrels and the Peacock.
I was feeding peanuts to a grey-coloured squirrel and a black-coloured squirrel (both are in the grey squirrel family but the light ones are timid and the black ones more aggressive). they were frantically burying them and coming back for more. no better Almanac than a squirrel-weather is dropping from 14C to 5C mid Nov & we are due for a 5 degrees colder than normal Dec with plenty of precipitation and snow for most of BC (the ski hills will be happy). a Peacock tried to steal one of the peanuts from the black-coloured squirrel; he leaped right off the ground and bit the Peacock in the neck. the squirrels were so focused on the task, they (and I) missed seeing the Barred Owlet_m at 10' right above them in the bare part of the cedar hedgerow, hidden in a shady spot. I stopped throwing them peanuts when the Owlet woke up and started following all this activity. He swooped over my head and made a dive for the grey squirrel, missing it and landing in a cedar branch 5' off the ground. the squirrel looked paralyzed for a moment, then hustled up a douglas fir tree and the owl returned to its spot atop the hedgerow waiting for a better opportunity.
Saw the two growing fawns with the Doe in the SEW near Cook St Saturday, rainy & no dogs being walked. Zoo-the animals have all gone back to the farms for the winter except the goats. there is one little high-jumper who kept clearing the log fence of the compound to eat Scotch pine needles hanging on the wire fence. I see the volunteers have nailed a two foot addition to the compound fence. Try that little guy!
side note: saw the cutest little plump light-coloured rat preening itself near the flower planters at the hair salon. must have been a female. she eventually disappeared up their vent.
Nov 14, 2016 Beacon Hill (Victoria) soon gets a Longhouse.
the sign says, in part: "City of Victoria has adopted 2017 as a Year of Reconciliation and has committed a portion of this hilltop to the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations to build a traditional longhouse for cultural and educational activities." there is also mention of the Lekwungen People and the fact the old Checkers Pavilion, nobody was using, will start to be deconstructed today.

A Bald Eagle swooped over the fields of Beacon Hill.
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