The forum is for information, questions and discussions about locations to go birding within British Columbia.
Hello all, my father and I are in the middle of a trip around western Canada and we're approaching the last few days which we will spend in Vancouver island before 3 days in Vancouver. As we don't know the area, could someone suggest any good birding sites on the island and around Vancouver proper? One minor hitch for us is we have to hand our car back when we arrive in Vancouver on 20th July, so sites accessible by public transport would be very useful.

Our targets are most of the western species, but specifically varied thrush, Stellers jay, and any murrelets/auklets would be great. Is there much potential for the latter from the ferry?

Thanks in advance,

Hi! Hope your trip is going well.

I live near Victoria - I've been trying to think of some great places where you could get your targets, but I haven't recently had success getting views of Steller's Jays and Varied Thrush. It's a bit of a weird birding time - things are in flux, warblers aren't singing, I'm not hearing as many flycatchers.
Normally I would say Goldstream Provincial Park for the jays and thrush. Much of the time they are near the stream/parking lot, but I can't guarantee it right now. It's a nice place to visit though, and you'll usually get an American Dipper or two in the river.
Shorebirds have started moving back through on their southbound migration. Witty's Lagoon has a nice forested walk down to the lagoon/beach where you might find Varied Thrush or Steller's Jays along the way; down at the water there could be Western and Least Sandpipers, maybe more.
As for water birds, last time I scoped the strait from Ogden Point Breakwater there was very little alcid activity. I think you're likely to see Rhino Auklets and Pigeon Guillemots, but not sure about the others. Maybe you'll have luck on the ferry!

Good birding!
Thanks for your suggestions.

Unfortunately we've moved past Victoria now and are currently in Parksville for one more night before heading to Vancouver tomorrow.

We managed to jam in on Steller's Jay a couple of times on our way through BC, and I heard a singing varied thrush at Lake Moraine in Alberta (as best as I could tell, it's quite distinctive).

We spent the day at the Pacific Rim National Park today and managed to get a reasonable view of rhinoceros auklet, pelagic cormorant, California gull (as best I can tell) and various scoters along with a Pacific slope flycatcher that was calling and that I briefly saw.

Not a killer list, but we didn't know the area, had little to no gen and were staying in totally inappropriate places for bird watching. We've booked a guide in Vancouver as advice seems thin on the ground! Thanks for taking the time to help though :)

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