There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Aphriza virgata

Short, stocky shore bird
Dusty gray with white belly
Dark spots along side
White tail with black tip
Short, stout, dark bill, with orange on bottom
Yellow legs
Breeding plumage: Rusty on back, breast spotted

I was watching a group of Black Turnstone off Ten Mile Point yesterday when I noticed a couple of the birds had lighter plumage than the others. As I looked more closely, I saw the orange on their lower bills and realized I had found another new bird for my blog. I wonder how many times I have looked at them in the past, hidden in plain view.  I'll have to brush up on my observation skills.  Anyone have a Where's Waldo book I can borrow?

Learn more about the Surfbird.

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