Wednesday 6 November 2019

How to stumble on a good bird

Nov 5 2019 

Maplewood Flats North Vancouver

How to Stumble on a Good Bird

Carlo (CAGI) and I had just spent a fruitless couple of hours enveloped in fog on Seymour Mountain. We had the crazy idea that there might be some good birds to see up there, we were mistaken. After a few hours in thick fog my extremities were frozen and I felt really grumpy, likewise CAGO was sore from a pulled muscle. Our Seymour count was precisely two Dark-eyed Juncos. Slim pickings indeed. 
We decided to head down the mountain and pop into North Vancouver's Maplewood Flats on our way home. Along the  trails the autumn colours were breathtaking but again we came up with no birds, not even a Song Sparrow. 
We were almost back to our car when we spotted a mixed flock feeding next to the wooden bridge over the creek. A couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, three Yellow-rumped Warblers and couple of Black-capped Chickadees. The warblers were hawking insects and the others gleaning insects from the shrubs. At first the warblers drew our attention, perhaps an elusive Palm Warbler but alas none were present. The kinglets looked a lot like kinglets but.... 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet bird stood out. Small and gray, a little like a bushtit but the posture looked odd and the bill was long, could it be a gnatcatcher I thought. Before we could get an ID it flew off to a nearby tree. I managed to get a quick pic, showed it to Carlo and he agreed, it was indeed a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. 

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
The gnatcatcher was the 37th record for BC

The bird was my 239 2019 Metro Vancouver and a new BC bird. 
So what started out as a day to forget became one for the record books. Suddenly my frozen parts were as warm as toast and the ride home was filled with satisfaction of another day well spent.

Previous BC sightings

The 6th for Metro Vancouver

"It's never too late in the day to find a good bird"
John Gordon (JOGO)
BC Canada

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