On the plus side, my new employers are located in the City of Langford, and the building is right next to Langford Lake. So, I've managed a couple of exploratory lunch breaks checking out this spot. As yet, I haven't seen much to get excited about, but the habitat looks very promising. The birds that I have seen include: lesser scaup, common loon, American coot, Townsend's warbler, ruby-crowned kinglet, osprey, bald eagle and such relatively common stuff. On Friday, there was even a 30ish strong flock of pine siskin flying around the area. Be interesting to see what I can turn up in the coming weeks and months...
Having completed my first week with FTS, I got home on Friday and managed to squeeze in a swift visit to the Government House grounds.
All At Sea
We were out for around 5 hours and we hit into some pretty good birds.
Gull species were well accounted for, mainly thanks to a couple of sizable bait-balls attracting throngs of the garrulous birds. Thayer's, glaucous-winged, mew, Heermann's, California, western and Bonaparte's were all present.
Now, here was the first lifer I've had in ages. For a reason I can't even begin to remember, I didn't twitch the Lundy (Devon, UK) one back in the early 90s so this species has been very high on my 'wants' list for some time...
Red-necked phalaropes and phalarope sp. were seen frequently, as were a few Pacific loons, and Ian Cruikshank picked up a lovely fork-tailed storm petrel as it rose from the water's surface just ahead of the boat. We got excellent views, albeit rather briefly, as it took off and flew just off the bow, and headed away.
We could see large kettles of turkey vultures soaring around the Beechey Head area, and among them several red-tailed hawks, plus sharp-shined hawks, an osprey and other unidentified raptors (not easy to be thorough when you're trying to go through 100s of vultures, at distance, on a boat...!).
Well worth the trip, I may well do another soon!