Dave Newell, our Friends of Uplands Park Uplands Park Bird Walk expert, has sent information about the annual Christmas Bird Count:
“On Saturday, Dec. 15 is the annual Christmas Bird Count. If you would like to participate in this expedition (no experience necessary), meet at the foot of Rutlin Road by the ocean at 8:00 a.m. Rutlin Rd. is about 3 roads north of Uplands Park on Beach Drive. Geoffrey, Jean and I have been participating in the count through Uplands Park for about 8 years now and look forward to it each time. Our study area begins at Rutlin Road, then proceeds to the north entrance of Uplands Park, off Lansdowne, then goes to Cattle Point, then into the south entrance of the park, off Dorset Rd. Afterwards, we take a look at Willows Beach, then the ocean off of Glen Lyon School, then Queen’s Park, by the Oak Bay Marina. We usually break for lunch in the Oak Bay Marina coffee shop (Starbuck’s) at about 11:30 a.m. for about 30 minutes.
Afterwards, we view the ocean at Turkey Head (We may get a Snowy Owl out on the rocks or some Ancient Murrelets), which is next to the marina. We then go to the Oak Bay Golf Course to view the ocean, then to McMicking Point (next to the bottom of Transit Ave.) and look out towards Trial Island (we may get another chance to see Snowy Owls. Brown Pelicans have been in the water in that area in recent days, too.- Maybe you can go there today and have a look for either of these two bird species). We then go up Anderson Hill via a small pathway from Transit Ave., then we finish the day at about 3:30 p.m. looking out at Gonzales Bay from Repulse St., then from the Chinese Cemetery.
You do not need to come for the entire day. You can leave when you need to. Everyone is welcome. The more the merrier. We usually have been 6 and 12 people and get about 60 species of birds.
You normally sign up through the Victoria Natural History Society. You can do this through their website. Our leader through the park is Mike Edgell, who has been leading this particular route for the past 30 or more years.
If you cannot sign up ahead of time, just come on the aforementioned place and time. You can also telephone us (David Newell) at (250)598-0158. The usual cost is $5.00. You bring that with you on the day of the trip. That covers any costs incurred by Bird Studies Canada for the study. Children under the age of 18 are typically free of charge.
Dress warmly, take a rain jacket, just in case. Wear gloves, a thick jacket and bonnet. Bring a lunch. We do car pool, so if you do not have a car, then you will be invited to go with someone else. Do not forget your binoculars and telescope (if you have one). We will always share ours!
The Victoria Natural History Society usually has a party that same evening to review all the results from all of the zones. Below is a detailed letter from Ann Nightingale of the Victoria Natural History Society about the bird count that I received. It will give you more information.
As hard as it may be to believe, we’re just a little more than a month away from the Christmas Bird Count!
This year’s Victoria Christmas Bird Count will be on Saturday, December 15th. As amazing as participation was in 2010, we actually broke our own participation record with 220 counters in 2011. And this year, we might even get more! Bird Studies Canada has abolished the $5 participation fee so that won’t be a barrier to anyone this year. We’d love to have you join us for the 2012 count. If you have a friend you could invite along, please do so. Please encourage even beginners to participate—we all started out as novices. Of course, if you can afford to do so, we would certainly encourage you to support Bird Studies Canada with a donation or membership.
According to our records, you have been assigned to the Oak Bay team. If you would like to count in the Oak Bay area this year, the leader is Mike Edgell (Phone: 250-656-5998, email: email@example.com.) If you haven’t already been in touch, you can help out by emailing or phoning the leader to confirm your participation. Your group’s meeting time and place is 8:00 at Ocean end of Rutland Rd..
Can’t make it out to the count this year? You may still be able to participate in the Feederwatch.
We are also asking all birders to keep track of any uncommon birds they see during the count week (December 12-18) just in case they are missed on the count day itself.
We also want people to make special note of Cooper’s Hawks: their location, time seen, band colour, and band numbers if at all possible. These will be reported to Andy Stewart for his study.
Normally, we have between one and three boats out on the water around Victoria, weather permitting. Unfortunately, none of our usual boats are available this year. If you know of a boater that might be willing to help out, please let me know.
Resources to help you get ready!
To help prepare for this year’s CBC, all the forms you might need plus information on results of past counts are posted on the VNHS website (www.vicnhs.bc.ca/cbc/). Try your skill at the Flock Counting Game! Learn how to calculate party hours! The site also contains links to maps and pictures of birds previously recorded on the counts.
This year’s post-count gathering will be at St. Luke’s Church Hall, at the corner of Cedar Hill and Cedar Hill X Rds. We’ll be starting at 5 pm, and will have warm beverages available for cold counters. It’s not a fancy affair–come as you are! If you can bring a plate of goodies, please do, but most importantly, bring yourself. We’ll share stories of the day, including the ones that got away. We’ll also have a way for you to share any photos you may have taken during the count.
Thanks in advance for your help again this year!
Victoria Christmas Bird Count Coordinator
P.S. If you just can’t get enough, the Salt Spring/Sidney count is on Sunday, December 16 (contact me—Ann Nightingale, firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to count on the Peninsula or Mill Bay and Karen Ferguson (email@example.com) if you wish to count on Salt Spring Island), the Sooke Christmas Bird Count is on Saturday, December 29 (Daniel Bryant – firstname.lastname@example.org),and the Duncan Count is on Tuesday, January 1 (contact Derrick Marven – email@example.com). You can register for these on the VNHS website at http://www.vicnhs.bc.ca/cbc/CBCform.html .
Preferred email: firstname.lastname@example.org