British Columbia, 7th to 20th September 2006

Species List (continued...)

The following abbreviations are used throughout:

VI = Vancouver Island
Van = Vancouver area (i.e. coastal region between Vancouver and Boundary Bay)
Int = Interior, i.e. anywhere inland of Vancouver

Click on the photos to see a larger (and sometimes less heavily cropped) version.

 

SKUAS (JAEGERS), GULLS and TERNS

 

Arctic Skua (Parasitic Jaeger) Stercorarius parasiticus

VI – 2 chasing Bonaparte's Gulls off Campbell River 12th.

 

Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni

VI – 5 Clover Point, Victoria 8th, 2 Esquimalt Lagoon 8th, 4 Island View Beach 10th, 1 Ucluelet 11th, 2-3 Island View Beach 13th.

Heermann's Gull, Clover Point, 9-Sep-06 Heermann's Gull, Clover Point, 9-Sep-06
Heermann's Gulls, Clover Point (Victoria), 9th September 2006

 

Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia

Van – 4 Westham Island 8th.

VI – 100 Oyster Bay Shoreline Park 12th, 400+ Campbell River 12th, 50 Courtenay 12th.

Bonaparte's Gull, Campbell River, 12-Sep-06 Bonaparte's Gull, Campbell River, 12-Sep-06
Bonaparte's Gull, Campbell River, 12-Sep-06 Bonaparte's Gull, Campbell River, 12-Sep-06

Bonaparte's Gulls, Campbell River, 12th September 2006. Four different adults, four different leg colours.

 

Bonaparte's Gull, Campbell River, 12-Sep-06  
Bonaparte's Gull, Campbell River, 12th September 2006.  

 

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis

Van – Common. Best (and incomplete) count 40 Boundary Bay 8th.

VI – 70+ Cowichan Bay 10th, 50+ Courtenay 12th, 2 Englishman River Estuary 12th.

Int – 3 Wilmer Bird Sanctuary 17th, 1 Creston Valley 18th. A small number of gulls seen at other sites were probably this species.

Ring-billed Gull, Boundary Bay, 8-Sep-06 Ring-billed Gull, Boundary Bay, 8-Sep-06

Ring-billed Gulls, Boundary Bay, 8th September 2006

 

Ring-billed Gull, Cowichan Bay, 10-Sep-06 Ring-billed Gull, Cowichan Bay, 10-Sep-06

Ring-billed Gull, Cowichan Bay, 10th September 2006

Ring-billed Gull's wing, Cowichan Bay, 10th September 2006. This wing was presumably attached to a dead bird and to see it floating down the river was quite surreal.

 

Ring-billed Gull, Courtenay, 12-Sep-06 Ring-billed Gull, Oyster Bay Shoreline Park, 12-Sep-06

Ring-billed Gull, Courtenay, 12th September 2006

Ring-billed Gull, Oyster Bay Shoreline Park, 12th September 2006

 

Mew Gull Larus (canus) brachyrhynchus

VI – Mid Island: best count 150+ Campbell River 12th; South Island: best count 20+ Island View Beach 13th.

Mew Gulls, Island View Beach, 10-Sep-06 Mew Gull, Campbell River, 12-Sep-06
Mew Gulls, Island View Beach, 10th September 2006 Mew Gull, Campbell River, 12th September 2006

 

California Gull Larus californicus

Van – Present Boundary Bay 20th and probably overlooked elsewhere.

VI – Best count 300+ Esquimalt Lagoon 9th.

California Gull, Clover Point, 9-Sep-06 California Gull, Clover Point, 9-Sep-06

California Gulls, Clover Point (Victoria), 9th September 2006

 

Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens and "Olympic Gull" (hybrid Glaucous-winged x Western Gull Larus glaucescens x occidentalis)

Van – Common. Best count was 20 Boundary Bay 8th but probably much higher numbers would have been revealed by a more careful count. See note below on hybrids.

VI – Common. Best count 100+ Campbell River 12th.

Although only a handful of the most obvious hybrids x Western Gull ("Olympic Gull") were positively identified at the time, I had a suspicion that more careful observation would have revealed many more. Indeed upon returning home many of the photos of "Glaucous-winged Gulls" appear to have rather too dark primaries and it seems that the proportion of hybrids may in fact have been much higher than I'd realised. The overlap zone is very close and a high proportion of hybrids is to be expected here. However I'm not sufficiently well experienced with the variation of pure Glaucous-winged to be able to say whether or not many of these are hybrids. Comments welcome! I've numbered them to make it easier to say which one you're referring to if you can comment (I've now updated the labels to reflect comments already received, but if anyone else has anything else to add please do. Thanks to those of you who have commented, especially Charlie Wright).

Glaucous-winged Gull, Boundary Bay, 8-Sep-06 Glaucous-winged Gull, Clover Point, 9-Sep-06
1. Glaucous-winged Gull, Boundary Bay, 8th September 2006

2. Glaucous-winged Gull, Clover Point (Victoria), 9th September 2006

 

Olympic Gull, Clover Point, 9-Sep-06 Olympic Gull, Boundary Bay, 9-Sep-06

3. Probable hybrid Glaucous-winged Gull x Western Gull, Clover Point (Victoria), 9th September 2006.

 

4. Probable hybrid Glaucous-winged Gull x Western Gull, Boundary Bay, 9th September 2006.

Olympic Gull, Boundary Bay, 9-Sep-06 Olympic Gull, Esquimalt Lagoon, 9-Sep-06
5. Hybrid Glaucous-winged Gull x Western Gull, Boundary Bay, 9th September 2006.

6. Hybrid Glaucous-winged Gull x Western Gull, Esquimalt Lagoon, 9th September 2006.

 

Glaucous-winged Gull, Clover Point, 9-Sep-06 Glaucous-winged Gull, Esquimalt Lagoon, 9-Sep-06

7. Glaucous-winged Gull, Clover Point (Victoria), 9th September 2006.

8. Glaucous-winged Gull, Esquimalt Lagoon, 9th September 2006. So much easier when they fly!

 

Olympic Gull, Esquimalt Lagoon, 9-Sep-06 Olympic Gull, Rathrevor Park, 11-Sep-06

9. Hybrid Glaucous-winged Gull x Western Gull, Esquimalt Lagoon, 9th September 2006.

 

10. Hybrid Glaucous-winged Gull x Western Gull, Rathrevor Park, 11th September 2006.

 

Glaucous-winged Gull, Rathrevor Park, 11-Sep-06 Glaucous-winged Gull, Rathrevor Park, 11-Sep-06

11 & 12. Glaucous-winged Gull(s), Rathrevor Park, 11th September 2006

 

Glaucous-winged Gull, Rathrevor Park, 11-Sep-06 Glaucous-winged Gull, Englishman River Estuary, 11-Sep-06

13. Glaucous-winged Gull, Rathrevor Park, 11th September 2006.

14. Glaucous-winged Gull, Englishman River Estuary, 11th September 2006

 

Glaucous-winged Gull, Oster Bay Shoreline Park, 12-Sep-06 Glaucous-winged Gull, Oster Bay Shoreline Park, 12-Sep-06

15 & 16. Glaucous-winged Gull, Oyster Bay Shoreline Park, 12th September 2006

 

Olympic Gull, Oster Bay Shoreline Park, 12-Sep-06 hybrid Gull, Esquimalt Lagoon, 9-Sep-06

17. Hybrid Glaucous-winged Gull x Western Gull, Oyster Bay Shoreline Park, 12th September 2006

18. Gull sp., Esquimalt Lagoon, 9th September 2006. I had put this bird down as a California Gull but it's been suggested that the solidly dark bill and lighter primaries rule this out. Hybrid Glaucous-winged x American Herring Gull is the suggested identification, with the caveat that Glaucous-winged x Western Gull cannot be ruled out. Any further comments welcome.

 

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia

Van – 6 Iona Beach 7th, 25 Boundary Bay 8th.

Caspian Tern, Iona Beach, 7-Sep-06 Caspian Terns, Boundary Bay, 8-Sep-06
Caspian Tern, Iona Beach, 7th September 2006 Caspian Terns, Boundary Bay, 8th September 2006

 

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