Archive for the ‘Bird-watching’ Category

Hello! Recognizing that I would be staying local this year I decided to try and have a BC Birding Big Year! I set my goal at 190 birds for the province. Since there are ~260 breeding birds that can be seen in BC without having to spend too much money for weird locations, I thought 190 was doable. Also, since I live in the Okanagan Valley (Kelowna), there is a great opportunity to see ~200 birds here … again, if the conditions and timing are right.

The year started off very well, and through the end of July, I’m up to 129 birds. I think I can hit my goal if three things happen: 1) I can make a trip to the Lower Mainland (near Vancouver), 2) I make a trip to Eastern BC (in the Kootenays), and 3) I collect a few more Alpine birds overall.

Here are five of my favorite birds so far this year … The first is this Nashville Warbler.

Nashville Warbler

This is a first time bird for me — we were hiking on the High Rim Trail near Lake Country, BC … we heard several of them calling and were finally able to see it well enough to snap a few pictures. Lovely.

Red-eyed Vireo

This was another new bird for me. We were camping near Mabel Lake earlier this summer and had stopped at a small recreation area — Shuswap Falls Recreation Site. There were quite a variety of birds here — this was one of a pair … lovely.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

I was happy to see this little fellow — also near the High Rim Trail. He was in full mating display and it was easy to see his crest. I was happy he sat still for the minute or so I needed to focus. lol.


This was also a new bird for me — a Veery. Very similar in call and appearance as a Thrush. Beautiful vocalization — photographed along McCulloch Road leaving Kelowna. I found it funny that it was standing on one leg.

Northern Waterthrush

The final bird was another new one for me! The Northern Waterthrush. I almost confused it with a juvenile Robin, but that yellow color was too vibrant to ignore. A beautiful bird and very curious. We saw this near Browne Lake to the east of Kelowna.

Such a wonderful variety of birds … I’ve been very fortunate to add around 5 new birds to my “life list” pushing my total numbers up to 1,105. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the year!



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A Birding Big Year

If you were not aware, I’ve been an active birdwatcher since about 1972. We had a close friend of the family who had a love of birds, a great spotting scope, and the desire to go out and chase the birds. I’ve been on-again off-again pretty serious through the years leading to the point to where my “life list” is standing at 666 different species.

Carolina Chickadee (Mineola, Texas)

We traveled to Belize last December and started actively tracking our bird-watching numbers. So, for a Big Year, I started my “reckoning” on 1 December 2017. At last count, we were up to 369 different species (so far) this year with another couple of big outings planned before 1 December 2018.

Lark Sparrow (Mineola, Texas, 2018)

Great Egret with Perch (Mineola, Texas, 2018)

Great Egret with Perch (Mineola, Texas, 2018)

With that being said, I’ve adjusted my goals for this year — first, I want to obtain 1,000 birds on my life-list. I never thought I would make it that far but stints in Europe, Africa, Central America, and South Africa with my work allowed me to add birds to my list of which I had only dreamed. Secondly, I want to bust the “500 species” list for our big year! It will take some effort but I think we will get it. I will be blogging about it here.

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Kelowna, BC)



Golden Eagle (Kelowna, BC)


Western Meadowlark (Kelowna, BC)






California Quail (Kelowna, BC)


Lewis Woodpecker (Okanagan Falls, BC)

Say’s Phoebe (Kelowna, BC)

Evening Grosbeak (Kelowna, BC)

Finally, I also restarted my count from 1 January 2018 to have a “valid” Big Year. That number stands at 220 species — we’ll see if I can extend this out to 500 birds too.

Guianan Trogon (Belize)

Blue-crowned Motmot (Belize)

Amazon Kingfisher (Belize)

Collared Aracari (Belize)

Central American Pygmy Owl (Belize)

White-necked Puffbird (Belize)




Lesson’s Motmot (Belize)

Keel-billed Toucan (Belize)



Happy, happy birding all!

Stumbling Piper

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