Tuesday 27 June 2017

Birding Peace River

June 11-13 Dawson Creek and 
Fort St John Area. 
British Columbia

The Peace River region is somewhere I had always wanted to visit. Situated in the northern part of British Columbia, the Peace is a three thousand kilometre round trip journey from Vancouver.
Three days of hard core birding were slated for June 11-13 following the BCFO convention in Tumbler Ridge.

Twenty birders were split into 2 groups. Mark Phinney and Brian Paterson were group leaders.
Based in Dawson Creek and led by Brian our group visited numerous birding hotspots including Swan Lake, Road 201 and McQueens's Slough. Day 2 saw us visit Fort St John where we birded Beaton Park and Boundary Lake, Watson Slough as well as spots in-between.

Here are some of the results:

White-breasted Nuthatch
Like the Blue Jay below this bird came to the bird feeder at Mark Phinney's home where the group were treated to freshly baked cookies. How's that for service! 
A very wet Blue Jay at Mark Phinney's feeder. 
Rose-breasted grosbeak.
Many of these birds were singing from distant tree tops.

 Below is an interesting view of a Western Tanager as seen through what would be the equivalent of 12x bins. Later in the trip I was able to get tanager close-ups when photographing on my own.

Western Tanager

Common Grackle.
CA-BC-4909-4927 Old Hart Hwy (55.7388,-120.5445), Peace River, British Columbia, CA

Jun 11, 2017 3:51 PM - 4:06 PM

Protocol: Stationary

11 species

Hairy Woodpecker  1

Blue Jay  1

Black-capped Chickadee  1

White-breasted Nuthatch  1

Dark-eyed Junco  2

Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2
Red-winged Blackbird  3
Common Grackle  5
Purple Finch  3
Pine Siskin  1
Evening Grosbeak  2

Eastern Kingbird

CA-BC-Peace River D (55.7084,-120.4761), Peace River, British Columbia, CA

Jun 11, 2017 5:48 PM - 5:53 PM

Protocol: Stationary

4 species

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1

Eastern Kingbird  1

Le Conte's Sparrow  1

Savannah Sparrow  1
Le Conte's Sparrow
The Le Conte's Sparrow was a target bird for many in the group and thanks to our group leaders everyone had great views. These birds prefer undisturbed wet fields. On reflection I would have preferred to have photographed the bird from more of a side angle but I didn't want to risk flushing it before everyone had had a good view. Thanks to Brian Paterson for getting us on the bird.

Solitary Sandpiper.
The numerous beaver ponds throughout the area attract waterfowl and birds like the Solitary Sandpiper which uses abandoned songbird nests in which to lay their eggs and raise their young.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Some of the best information I came away with from the group leaders was how to "read" the forest floor. While some birds might require the forest covered in wildflowers (vireos and warbles) other birds like the Ovenbird prefer open forest floor with little foliage. Knowledge like this helps the birder zone in on target species.
Swainson's Thrush

Eastern Phoebe
This bird was nesting as many phoebe's do inside a farm building. It has just caught a skipper type butterfly.

Some birds we saw:
Thanks to George Clulow for keeping the count.

Beatton Provincial Park, Peace River, British Columbia, CA
Jun 12, 2017 6:48 AM - 8:58 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.66 kilometer(s)
27 species

Osprey  1
Bald Eagle  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  4
Olive-sided Flycatcher  2
Least Flycatcher  15
Philadelphia Vireo  1
Warbling Vireo  3
Red-eyed Vireo  2
American Crow  1
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Winter Wren  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Swainson's Thrush  7
American Robin  3
Cedar Waxwing  1
Ovenbird  3
Black-and-white Warbler  2
American Redstart  6
Yellow Warbler  5
Yellow-rumped Warbler  4
Canada Warbler  3
White-throated Sparrow  4
Western Tanager  1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  4
To be cont.. 

"It's never too late to start birding"
John Gordon
BC Canada

1 comment:

  1. Wow incredible shot of the LeConte's Sparrow John! If I didn't go to Nome would have done this trip cheers