Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count has finished with a total of 142 individual bird species spotted within a single day, including a rare Black Phoebe, pictured above. (Gregg Thompson photo)

Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count has finished with a total of 142 individual bird species spotted within a single day, including a rare Black Phoebe, pictured above. (Gregg Thompson photo)

Rare bird usually found between Oregon and South America seen in Central Saanich

Greater Victoria birders spot more than 140 bird species within a single day

Ann Nightingale is pleasantly surprised after tallying more than 140 bird species during this year’s Christmas Bird Count.

Nightingale said birders at Martindale Flats in Central Saanich spotted their first ever black phoebe, a species usually only seen between Oregon and South America.

Meanwhile, some birders were able to lay their eyes on a Townsend’s solitaire, a rare sighting at Mount Tolmie.

“We had a fantastic turnout even though the rain turned up by the end of the day,” said Nightingale, the coordinator for Greater Victoria’s count which took place on Saturday.

In total, they spotted 142 bird species with just over 200 birders on the ground from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich all the way to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin.

RELATED: Pandemic can’t clip wings of Christmas Bird Count in Sooke

Although this year’s sightings were seven more than last year, 2004 holds the record for the most bird species recorded in a single day across Greater Victoria at 154.

Nightingale pointed out that some regular sightings from 20 years ago, such as the skylark, black scoter and sanderling, have been decreasing in populations every year.

In comparison, birds such as the white-throated sparrow have been spotted more often lately.

Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count may be over, but peak season for birdwatching isn’t finished yet. A similar bird count is being organized in Sooke on Dec. 27.

ALSO READ: Three types of rare gulls spotted in Esquimalt Lagoon this summer

READ MORE: Birders flocking to Greater Victoria after rare warbler sighting


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

BirdwatchingVictoria

Just Posted

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

Colwood city council did a last minute adjustment to this year’s budget, dropping the planned property increase to five per cent. Last year they didn’t increase taxes at all. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood agrees to 5% tax increase for 2021, deferring some expenses to next year

Last-minute changes will save the typical Colwood homeowner $56

Pacific sand dollars are a local species which belong to the same group as sea urchins. While alive, they are covered entirely by thousands of densely packed, short and slender spikes. (Photo courtesy of Louise Page)
The peculiar life of a Pacific sand dollar

UVic biology professor Louise Page offers a glace into sand dollars’ world under the water

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read