Spring Migration: Shorebirds and Flycatchers
Dawn Chorus - This is the best time of the year to experience it.
Most of the Spring Warblers are now here. Macgillivray's Warbler can be found in the Highlands; Common Yellowthroat and Yellow Warbler in the marsh areas; Townsands' Warbler in the Douglas Fir Forests; Black-throated Grey Warblers in Deciduous stands; Yellow rumped and Orange-crowned Warbler on hillsides and hedgerows.
May is the month for Spring shorebird migration. Check the Cattle Point and Victoria Waterfront for rock shorebirds including Whimbril (Royal Victoria Golf Course), Wandering Tattler, Marbled Godwit, and smaller species. Esquimalt Lagoon and Witty's Lagoon are also good spots to go in search of shorebirds. Watch for a Caspian Tern there as well.
May is also the month to find Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood Peewee, Willow Flycatcher, Vaux Swift, and Common Nighthawk. Check the oak meadows and hillsides around Victoria for these birds.
Visit Viaduct Flats or Beaver Lake to view large concentrations of various swallow species.
In general, spring is the time to bird-watch on our hills and mountains. Many rare birds turn up there and if not, you can always enjoy the native flowers. Try birding Mount Tolmie, Mount Douglas, Observatory Hill, Newton Heights Rd., Lone Tree Hill, or Jocelyn Hill.
Places to go:
- Check Mt. Tolmie in the early morning for fall-out warblers and flycatchers. Lazuli bunting is possible at this time of year. Watch for Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee, Anna's Hummingbird, California Quail, and rarities.
- Warblers have been seen and heard singing at Bear Hill. Watch for Pacific-slope flycatcher and Olive-sided Flycatcher.
- Various Gulls, and a few Bay Ducks and Sea Ducks may be seen offshore at Cattle Point.
- Watch for Whimbril reported at the Royal Victoria Golf Course.
- Singing Sky Lark at the Victoria International Airport.
- Singing Sky Lark, Ring-necked Pheasant, Savannah Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow,
Coopers Hawk at Martindale Flats.
- Various Gulls and a few Ducks at Esquimailt Lagoon. Watch for shorebirds and Caspian Terns are resting on the main sand bars. Good numbers of Great Blue Heron feeding at low tide.
- Various ducks at King's Pond at the end of Ascot Drive. Best place in Victoria to see Wood Ducks, Bufflehead, and Green-winged Teal closeup.
- Black Oystercatcher, Mixed Gulls at Clover Point. Watch for Alcids off shore.
- Various Alcids off Ogden Pt. Breakwater, Tower Pt, and East Sooke Park and in Sidney off fishermans wharf (foot of Beacon Ave.).
- Blue-winged Teal, Mixed Swallow Species, Gadwall, Ring-necked Duck, Mallard, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Bushtit, Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk, Turkey Vulture at Viaduct Flats. Listen for Great Horned Owl in the forest. (evenings)
- Virginia Rail, Common Snipe, Marsh Wren, Various Sparrows and Various Ducks at Quick's Bottom.
- Anna's Hummingbird, Cooper's Hawk, Cedar Waxwing, Bushtit, Virginia Rail at Rithet's Bog.
- Black-headed Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, Wilson's Warblen, Warbling Vireo, Bushtit at
Blenkinsop Lake Lochside Trail.
- Red-breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, American Dipper, California Quail, Purple Finch, and Steller's Jay at Goldstream Provincial park.