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Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Jan 23 9:53 pm
by birdergirl
This is not a rare bird but a bird in severe decline. Since so many people are coming over to the island to look for the PFGO and PUSA I thought I would mention that Roger Foxall had 12 Eurasian Skylarks singing and displaying at Canora Rd by the airport today. They are always a treat to see!

Address to plug into your GPS is 9601 Canora Rd, Saanich.

Cheers,
Mel

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Jan 27 7:50 pm
by birdergirl
Quite a few birds have been singing and displaying at the airport at the end of Canora Rd recently including today. Only more action will occur as spring approaches.

Mel

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Feb 09 10:35 pm
by JodyWells
Good Evening
With the fields mostly snow covered, the roadsides and ditches at Martindale are at times gathering and concentrating birds.
Today (Feb 9th) i had my best views ever of a Skylark along/near McHugh Road.
It was loosely associating with a flock of over a dozen Savannah Sparrows, as well as at times flying apart into fields.

Reminder: please be sure to pull right off of the road pavement when parking to allow for Farm and Nursery Vehicles (often over-wide) passage.

There have also been sightings near UVIC,on Saanichton Spit as well as the Sidney side of the Airport in the last week or so.


Cheers
Jody Wells
Brentwood Bay

some photo doc
ImageHmmm....peripheral visions says.... that's biggish for a Savannah back there.... by Jody Wells, on Flickr

Imagedefinitely Not a Savannah.... by Jody Wells, on Flickr

Imagesome preening ...... by Jody Wells, on Flickr

Image.... and feather arrangement in the rain.... by Jody Wells, on Flickr

Imageand then tuck in out of the wind by Jody Wells, on Flickr

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Feb 09 11:24 pm
by birdergirl
Wow Jody! Absolutely incredible shots of the Skylarks! That is no easy task. These are among the best I've seen from Vancouver Island. I may have to use my ferry pass again...

Nice work.
Mel

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Feb 10 8:17 am
by JodyWells
more photo doc. here
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34276594
cheers
Jody

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Feb 12 7:51 am
by ogopogo
an amazing catch Jody, super shots. nice to see what one looks like up close. there is a field above the Pat Bay Highway filled with yellow mustard and blooming pink spiraea_ douglasii I visited June 22, 2016, standing totally enchanted by the hovering, singing and swooping Skylarks coming down to the rocky field for their young, Savannah Sparrows perched in the pink flowers and Killdeer racing about flopping down, pretending to be wounded. I turned in a circle and thought, what a wonderful world. the transported Ontario Brits on bikes at Island View Rd were nonplussed when I described this. "Oh, we've seen plenty of Skylarks in England", they said and off they went.

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Feb 12 8:12 am
by JodyWells
ogopogo wrote:an amazing catch Jody, super shots. nice to see what one looks like up close. there is a field above the Pat Bay Highway filled with yellow mustard and blooming pink spiraea_ douglasii I visited June 22, 2016, standing totally enchanted by the hovering, singing and swooping Skylarks coming down to the rocky field for their young, Savannah Sparrows perched in the pink flowers and Killdeer racing about flopping down, pretending to be wounded. I turned in a circle and thought, what a wonderful world. the transported Ontario Brits on bikes at Island View Rd were nonplussed when I described this. "Oh, we've seen plenty of Skylarks in England", they said and off they went.


yes i hear you Cheryl
Every Skylark observation is a moment to be savoured.
thanks for sharing that story
:)

Jody Wells

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Mar 04 7:15 pm
by Owlet
I may be going to Victoria soon to look for the Redwing and PFGO.

Another one of my targets is the Skylark!

Last time I went to Canora Road there wasn't any Skylarks, and there was a barbed wire fence which made it hard to see the birds. Is this the right place? And also, is there another good place? I know Martindale is good but we also tried there before. Vantreight Bulb fields is a one we haven't tried and from our research it seems to be the best.

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Mar 04 8:11 pm
by hawker
Hi Adam! I was there at the Canora Road overlook this morning, and there was three singing males. At first when I was there, I thought wow this is going to be hard.. but wait a bit, and you can hear that telltale song.. I never actually got that great a view of one, but they are more easy to hear than see in the taller grasses. I didn't have to try any other place, but I heard about the Tulip field as being somewhat reliable..

My other advice on these birds, go early. They went quiet after a few planes landed, and that's when I left. I got there probably 7 45 or 8 am.

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Mar 04 8:18 pm
by birdergirl
Yes there is a barbed wire fence at the airport at the end of Canora Rd you can see them there best with a scope. You can also see them at Vanreight Bulb fields but can no longer walk through the fields. I've had 8 here before when you used to be able to walk there but I've also had birds singing here after they closed the fields to the public while standing on the public road. They are also present in the Martindale area.

If you do go to the Vanreight Bulb Field plug this into your GPS:

8277 Central Saanich Road in Saanichton.

Good luck,
Mel

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Mar 05 10:10 pm
by woodfibrebirder
The Skylarks seem to like singing up high while doing their display flight - sometimes so high they can hardly be seen. Here is a very low quality video I took in 2011 of one singing on the ground at the Vantreight Bulb fields,
Chris,Squamish


Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Mar 09 5:22 pm
by JodyWells
woodfibrebirder wrote:The Skylarks seem to like singing up high while doing their display flight - sometimes so high they can hardly be seen. Here is a very low quality video I took in 2011 of one singing on the ground at the Vantreight Bulb fields,
Chris,Squamish


cool video
thx for sharing

Jody Wells

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Nov 09 12:35 pm
by FredB
I'm a Seattle-based historian travelling to Victoria Nov. 16-21 to do research for a book about the various songbirds introduced into North America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Does anyone have advice on seeing the skylarks at this time of year? Would anyone be willing to talk with me by phone or in person about the skylarks? Thanks, -Fred Brown

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Nov 11 8:20 am
by BirdingBC
Hi Fred,

I am not sure who is tracking skylark numbers right now here in Victoria but I do know numbers are way down, possibly to the last few birds. Best chance to see them would be up at the airport.

https://ebird.org/species/skylar/CA-BC-CP

I would recommending talking to Rocky Point Bird Observatory as they may know has the most up to date info. http://rpbo.org/contact.php

Cheers,

Re: Eurasian Skylarks - Saanich

Posted: Nov 11 1:37 pm
by FredB
Great! Thanks for the leads, Kevin. I'll contact RPBO.
All the best, -Fred