Welcome to the BC Birding! Introduce yourself and add a few lines about yourself & where you live.
By Shapna
I am Shapna and after a year spent rehabilitating from knee replacement surgery I am ready to wander out. I live in Victoria near Mount Douglas. I have been keenly interested in birdwatching since we spent a week in Kaziranga National Park, Assam India. We had gone to see the One Horned Rhino and found ourselves in the middle of winter migration where we saw magnificent Hornbills and Bar Headed geese amongst many other bird species. I would really appreciate it if someone can please point me towards some local areas and the best time to go birding. I have the Cornell Lab app on my phone and a Bushnell 7x50 binocular my husband uses when he's out fishing. Trying to decide whether to buy a camera or a proper binocular. Thanks all and happy birding.
By phainopepla6
Hi and welcome to the community!
As a beginning birder, I was at a loss for where to go birding before I discovered the ebird hotspot map (I will insert the link below), and as I developed more birding friends, I also heard of other places. Around mount Doug I can thing of Swan Lake, Mount Doug, and the surrounding beaches.

Hope this is helpful

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By BirdingBC
Hi Shapna,

Welcome! Near Mount Douglas is a great place to be and you don't have to wander far to see a variety of birds. I concur with Adam that checking out the birding hotspots that are close to home is the perfect place to begin birding. Winter is the best time to see birds as both fields and trees are bare and wetlands are full of water. In spring, we get birds singing and it is going on right now. Summer and Fall can be more of a challenge however each month bring new things to Victoria and our city can be really good for bird watching at different times of the year.

I am going to recommend Blenkensop Lake, Mount Tolmie, and Swan Lake as places nearby to see and hear birds. For a bit of a drive, I would also suggest Panama Flats as it is full of waterfowl at the moment. Mount Doug itself is a very good for birding however I think beginner birders will find it more of a challenge as we both look for species and "bird by ear" in the forest, listening for the different species around us, to determine what is around.

https://ebird.org/hotspots?env.minX=-12 ... m=4&yr=all

Best time is when those locations are not busy with people (early morning, after work in the evenings, afternoons). The birds will be there all day, just may go quiet and less active in the afternoons. It is groups of people, dog walkers, and bikes/commuters that are the reason to 'not' visit a location.

Meeting other birders and joining a field walk is a great way to see more and learn quickly. There Victoria Natural History Society offers a number of walks throughout the year (membership required), and there are a few public walks at Swan Lake and through the CRD at other parks. Most of the walks have Covid safely protocals in place (to allow them to be offered) and space may be limited to keep group size within limits.


Finally, I suggest a camera that can do at least 400x zoom does help but your smartphone is more useful. Download the apps: eBird, Merlin, and BirdNet. These free tools put out by Cornell Lab of Ornithology are very useful to help you learn and record what you hear.

Cheers and good birding,


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