Oak Bay marked a new high in the Victoria Christmas Bird Count tally this year.
Local birders counted 90 species – a new record high in the more than 50-year history of the count – with 22 participants tallying13,920 individual birds during the Dec. 17 count.
“Team members scoured Uplands Park, Cattle Point, McMicking Point and other birding hotspots in Oak Bay. Highlights included a pair of short-billed dowitchers which are common migrants but very rare winter visitors on the B.C. coast. Other nice surprises included a Townsend’s solitaire, a red fox sparrow, a spotted sandpiper, and two species of owls – great horned and barred,” said Geoffrey Newell, coordinator of the Oak Bay Christmas Bird Count.
Bird counters for the entire Victoria Christmas Bird Count saw more than 290 people head to the parks, beaches and neighbourhoods in the 15-mile circle that comprises the count area. They documented more than 83,000 individual birds of 138 species.
Unusual sightings included a blue jay – last recorded on the 1993 count – two clay-coloured sparrows and two short-billed dowitchers, both only recorded on one prior count. The most numerous species was American robin at 7,877 counted. Anna’s hummingbirds, a perennial favourite, totalled 1,053.
For results of the all Greater Victoria counts visit christmasbirdcount.ca.
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