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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Red Knot

Calidris canutus

Medium-sized sandpiper
Grey plumage
Dark primaries
Long, straight bill
Short yellow/green legs
     Rufous-red head and breast
     Mottled gray and black upper parts
     White-tipped wing feathers

Listen to its call.

This sandpiper has been reported by numerous birders in the last few weeks, both at Kitty Islet and on the beach at the end of Bowker Avenue in Oak Bay. It has been roosting on the rocks offshore with a large number of Dunlins and Black-bellied Plovers.

The Red Knot (on the right) is larger than the Dunlin (on left) but smaller than the Plover (in centre). It's straight bill is the same length as it's head. Although initially described as showing a reddish wash on its breast, this seems to have disappeared as it transitioned into its winter plumage.

Learn more about the Red Knot.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pied-billed Grebe

Podilymbus podiceps

Small, compact diving bird
Short, thick bill
Short neck
Brown plumage
Black throat in summer
Rusty tinge in winter
     White bill with black ring (pied)

Listen to its call.

Early last week, before the rain set in, I went for a walk around Swan Lake.  This little fellow was enjoying the sunshine and he was only too happy to pose for some photos.

Learn more about Pied-billed Grebe.