Birders thrilled with variety of species found locally

Twenty-five BCFO members were in town over the long weekend, looking for new and unusual birds.

Over two dozen members of the BC Field Ornithologists (BCFO) – also known as “birders” – were in Cache Creek and Ashcroft over the long weekend, May 16-17.

The trip was meant to be like any other bird tour – search high and low for all the different species of bird you can find, especially the ones you wouldn’t find in your own backyard or have never seen.

“It’s been a cracking day,” said one of two team leaders, Adrian Leather, while sitting down to supper after the first day.

They were able to spot the elusive chukar at Brookside Campground, and some even more elusive Lewis Woodpeckers. And even the more rare white faced ibis near Kamloops (Separation Lake).

About five years ago, BCFO started organizing field trips around the province, trying to attract new birders. They looked at the “travelled through” areas, places where they didn’t usually stop.

There was some doubt as to whether a trip to the Cache Creek area would garner much interest, said Leather, but they had to stop taking names after they reached 25. Although Brian Murland was to lead the trip, they had to split the group into two to accommodate everyone,  with Leather leading the second group

It was Nora McMuldroch’s second such trip. “It’s gorgeous,” she said of Mclean Lake. They spotted eared grebes and American pipits, kildeer, and a long billed dowitcher. They also spotted a few leaf birds, also known as “stick birds” and “lamp birds”.

It happens on every trip, said Leather. Someone spots an interesting faraway shape and everyone stops and gets their binoculars out, only to find their rare bird is just a branch or part of a fence or anything other than a bird.

The overall group was a good mix of experienced birders and new ones. They bumped into other birders as they wandered between wetlands and grasslands looking for Bullock’s Orioles, chukars, Belted kingfishers, golden eagles, cinnamo teals and more. They met  Michael Day from Nova Scotia who has been birding for 60 years.

They met another man who described the native birds in the area to them but when pressed, refused to admit he was a birder.

“I’ve got you guys down as the number two crazies,” he told them, “but you’re not as bad as the number ones, the trainspotters. They come here, and try and get the best camping spot, then when they see the train coming, they’re jumping about saying, look, here comes the CP. Huh, crazy”!

Shortly into the trip, word spread quickly that a small flock of white-faced Ibises had been spotted near Kamloops on Separation Lake, and several of the members left to see these birds that normally don’t get any further north than southern Alberta.

The group spent their supper hour happily comparing birds and notes and stories.

After the weekend was over, “Birders exchanged farewells and dispersed,” Leather wrote in a brief report, “with some returning to the Heartland Restaurant, where a rainbow appeared over a nearby mountain, and a lone Evening Grosbeak flew over for species #115. It was such an enjoyable weekend that it felt quite difficult to leave.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read