Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oyster Bay Birding

Today Donna and I took a long overdue drive up to Oyster Bay, south of Campbell River. This has always been one of my favorite summer birding spots on Vancouver Island, and it didn't disappoint today! Migrant shorebirds were present in good numbers, as were locally breeding birds such as Purple Martins, Merlin, and Marbled Murrelets. The big excitement came when a Merlin blasted into a flock of peeps and came rocketing back up into the air with a limp, dead, Western Sandpiper. Barely seconds into the air again, it reached down with it's bill and in one swift motion, decapitated the sandpiper, letting the head fall into Oyster Bay. All the while a flock of Purple Martins was in hot pursuit, screeching in protest.
Birds seen today at Oyster Bay:
Canada Goose: 5
Harlequin Duck" 18
Surf Scoter: 6
White-winged Scoter: 11
Common Merganser: 3
Common Loon: 4
Red-necked Grebe: 3
Double-crested Cormorant: 5
Pelagic Cormorant: 2
Great Blue Heron: 2
Turkey Vulture: 2
Bald Eagle: 1
Merlin: 2
Black-bellied Plover: 41
Pacific Golden-Plover: 1
Semipalmated Plover: 6
Killdeer: 4
Greater Yellowlegs: 1
Black Turnstone: 2
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 1
Western Sandpiper: 136
Least Sandpiper: 40
Red-necked Phalarope: 23
Bonaparte's Gull: 52
Heermann's Gull: 1
Mew Gull: 11
Ring-billed Gull: 1
California Gull: 28
Glaucous-winged Gull: 13
Caspian Tern: 6
Common Murre: 2
Pigeon Guillemot: 12
Marbled Murrelet: 8
Band-tailed Pigeon: 3
Common Nighthawk: 3
Belted Kingfisher: 1
Purple Martin: 28
Barn Swallow: 6
Cedar Waxwing: 5

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