Today, Donna and I rode our bikes about 40 kms around Parksville, birding at a fairly leisurely pace. We left about 7:00, and we were back by 13:00, which is about 6 ours of worth of quality birding time. We did OK, but we missed our goal of 100 species, by two. Although 98 species in six hours on bikes is a respectable total around here at this time of year, it hurts that we missed about 10 really easy species. Where do you suppose all of the Great Blue Herons, Double-crested Cormorants, and Black-bellied Plovers were today? Ouch. Ouch. And ouch! Enough complaining though. We had a great time, and we did see some really amazing birds, including a few new arrivals for the area. Highlights included;
Trumpeter Swan: 14 headed north.
Greater Yellowlegs: Several at the Englishman River estuary, the first we have seen this year.
Iceland Gull: 1 at Rathtrevor. I saw this bird yesterday as well.
Band-tailed Pigeon: 5 at Mills Rd. First this year.
Mountain Bluebird: a male and a female at the Englishman River Estuary.
Common Yellowthroat: several at the wetland in Rathtrevor.
Chipping Sparrow: 1 at the corner of Northwest Bay Rd and Hwy 4a.
Savannah Sparrow: several at the Englishman River Estuary.
Brown-headed Cowbird: 8 various places. First sightings this year.
Evening Grosbeak: very numerous and widespread. Several nest building already.