|Ray and Phil looking for shorebirds|
Our highlight was a Western Gull (#480)which was visible from our motel. We went down to the harbour for closer looks and the gull was cooperative enough to hang around. On the BC coast, Western Gulls hybridize with Glaucous-winged Gulls and most “Westerns” are considered by some to be of dubious lineage. We carefully checked out our gull – yellow-orange orbital ring, smudge-free head, dark mantle, deep black wing tips – and felt this was as good as we were going to get!
|Heading out from Tofino|
Birds were rather sparse but we did spot Red-necked Phalaropes (we checked them all out as we were looking for Red Phalaropes) as well as some Rhinoceros Auklets. Further out, we began seeing Sabine’s Gulls (#483).
|Our route on the pelagic|
With that in mind (and after an ice cream to refresh us), we went out in search of a new bird. I had asked Jeremy Kimm where we were most likely to find a Pacific Golden-Plover and he suggested the airport. Shortly after arriving at the airport, we found two Pacific Golden-Plovers (#488). I forgot my camera at the motel so no photos but we did spend quite a while checking out all the field marks. One was a classic juvenile (as described by Sibley) while the other was a bit different but definitely a Pacific Golden-Plover.Next week, we will head to the East Coast for the third (and hopefully final time). We will spend most of our time in Nova Scotia as we have a couple of whales to get and it is also a good time for vagrant species. With luck, we will be in position to accomplish our goal with a Whooping Crane expedition to Saskatchewan and a ferry trip to Haida Gwaii in mid-October.