North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO2 2015

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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Page 99 of 131

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 266 British Columbia Dewdney Trunk Rd. in Pitt Meadows 17 Jan–4 Feb (Doug Cooper, m.ob.), and at Hastings Park in East Vancouver 21 Jan+ (Doug Cooper, m.ob.). In the Fraser Valley, a Gyrfalcon was at the Sumas Prairie near Abbotsford 3-7 Jan (Wes Aslin). PASSERINES A Black Phoebe was seen and photographed along Kitchen Rd. in Chilliwack 14-15 Dec (Dave Beeke, m.ob.). While Blue Jays are nearly annual in the Okanagan in the winter, their ap- pearance is still worth noting, so one at Kelow- na's Glenmore area 22 Jan is of interest (Logan Lalonde). The Lower Mainland continues to experience a push of Western Scrub-Jays mov- ing northward from Washington. One was at New Westminster 1 Feb (Wayne Daikow et al.), and the continuing bird was still at Maple Ridge 3 Feb (Roger Craik). During the past decade, winter sightings of Barn Swallow in s. British Columbia (as well as in Washington, Oregon, and n. California) have increased substantially. One was along Connecting Rd. in Pitt Meadows 31 Jan (Larry Cowan), and one was at Piper Spit on Burnaby Lake 31 Jan (Sheila Linn), while on Vancouver Island, one was at Swan Lake, Vic- toria 28 Jan–2 Feb (Jeff Gaskin et al.) and 3 at Salmon Point Marina n. of Courtenay 16 Jan (Art Martell et al.). A long-staying Rock Wren favored Christmas Hill in Victoria 11 Dec–10 Feb (Court- ney Cameron, m.ob.). In the Okan- agan, the valley's frst Winter Wren was seen on the e. side of Osoyoos Lake 31 Dec (Ryan Tomlinson). A male Mountain Bluebird was a nice fnd at Incinerator Rock on Long Beach near Tofno 27 Dec (Christine Rock, Paul Levesque). The province's frst Redwing was photographed near Panama Flats in Victoria 16 Dec (Ken Orich), on the coast 14 Feb, with one at Bullock Lake on Salt Spring Island (Karen Ferguson) and an- other at the Iona Sewage Ponds in Richmond (Sunny Zhai, m.ob.). The Iona bird remained until 17 Feb. In cen. British Columbia, a male Harlequin Duck was along the Nechako River at Prince George 18 Jan (Christopher Coxson). On Vancouver Island, an imm. male King Eider was seen at Qualicum Beach 9-19 Feb (Russell Cannings, m.ob.). A Sora was at Colony Farm in Coquitlam 1 Feb (David Schutz). A Willet carried over from the fall period at White Rock Pier, last seen 2 Jan (Jo Ann MacKenzie). An Iceland Gull was at Moorecroft Park in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island 13 Dec and later; another was at Quali- cum Beach 16 Feb (Guy Monty et al.). Two Great Gray Owls along Winters Creek Rd. were a high- light 18 Dec on the Apex – Hedley C.B.C. (Doug Brown); another was at Kaslo in the Kootenay area 11-17 Feb (Lorraine Symmes et al.). In the Shuswap area, a Great Gray Owl was at the Larch Hills near Salmon Arm 22 Dec–13 Feb (Geoff Styles et al.). After two impressive Snowy Owl invasion years in a row, this winter produced few sightings, with one at Boundary Bay in Delta 4 Dec (Norman Ng). A Northern Hawk Owl was noted in the Creston area 21-28 Jan (Linda Van Damme, Gary Breault). In the Rocky Mountain Trench, one was at Blaeberry n. of Golden 21 Feb (Doug Leighton). A lost Burrowing Owl was seen living in hole in skateboard ramp in Tofno on Vancouver Island 8 Dec (Adrian Dorst et al.). Also on Vancouver Island, a Burrowing Owl appeared on a beach at the Comox A.F.B. 19-23 Dec (Su- san Moreau, m.ob.). In the interior, where Anna's Hummingbirds are rare in the winter, 2 were at a feeder in Penticton 3 Dec (Laure Neish). Another Anna's was at a feeder in the Glenmore area of Kelowna 6 Dec (Vicky Watson). A Prairie Falcon was seen several times from 22 Dec through 15 Jan in the Creston Valley, where they are rare in the winter months (Linda Van Damme et al.). A smattering of Gyrfalcons graced the Vancouver area this winter. Single gray-morph ads. were along 112th Street in Del- ta 30 Dec (Mike & Sharon Toochin), along Old Chris Charlesworth –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– T he season started with a rush of Arctic air during the frst week. The cold air then retreated slowly, resulting in some impressive snowfalls, mainly through central sections. Some Christmas Bird Counts had to be cancelled and rescheduled. The coast was spared snowy weather for the most part and in- deed ended up being a bit cool but on the dry side for December. The Southern Interior had light snowfalls and temperatures near long-term averages. Areas east of the Rocky Mountains never got out of the Arctic freeze, and snowfalls were near record levels by the end of December. The Big Thaw fnally took hold of the en- tire Region mid-January, lasting for about two weeks. The coast experienced copious rains and high winds in the frst part of January. The last weaker cold snap of the season arrived with the coming of February, and then the rest of the month changed to warmer and drier weather. The last signifcant snowfalls fell over the north- ern half of the Region during the transition. WATERFOWL THROUGH FALCONS Though often found in ones or twos in the s. Interior during the winter, a fock of 8 Snow Geese at Swan Lake in Vernon 4 Dec was of particular note (Chris Siddle). A few Yellow-billed Loon reports were received this winter, with the only Interior report coming from Okanagan Lake, s. of Kelowna, where an ad. was seen 6-7 Feb (Chris Charlesworth et al.). On Vancouver Island, at least one ad. Yellow-billed Loon was seen at the Port McNeill fer- ry terminal 25 Jan, and another was at the Englishman River Estuary near Parskville 25 Feb (Russell Cannings). Two male Tufted Ducks were found Although Burrowing Owls are being re-introduced into British Columbia's interior, they are rare and always exciting to see in coastal locations. This bird was on the beach at the Comox Air Force Base, Vancouver Island on 19 December 2013. Photograph by Susan Moreau. This male Tufted Duck was seen by many at Vancouver's famous Iona Sewage Ponds during its stay, 12-17 (here 16) February 2014. Photograph by Michelle Lamberson.

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