Rare bird sightings drawing avid birders to Uplands Park in Oak Bay

“Extremely rare” bird not seen again since it was spotted on Oct. 15

Recent rare bird sightings have been drawing avid birders, hoping to catch a glimpse of nature’s striking surprises, to Uplands Park.

The most significant of these recent sightings was a female pine bunting.

“It was an extremely rare event,” explained Margaret Lidkea, Friends of Uplands Park chair. “It was the first time ever that the pine bunting had been seen south of Alaska.”

Maury Swoveland, who’s a beginner birder, found the bird at the south end of Uplands Park along Beach Drive on Oct. 15. After taking a photo, she posted it on the Victoria National History Society’s website. The bird was initially thought to be a Lapland longspur, but it was identified as a pine bunting a day later.

“That’s when the experts just went, ‘oh my Goodness,’” described Lidkea. “First they thought it was something else, but then they realized that it was the pine bunting.”

Despite multiple observers looking, the rare bird has not been seen since it was first spotted.

Birders have also been searching for other rare birds at Uplands Park, including the northern mockingbird, which is thought to have been in the park for the past six weeks, and the pileated woodpecker, which was spotted early last week.

RELATED: Barred owl comes out for daylight visit during Oak Bay birding

RELATED: Friends of Uplands park pull invasives, plant native species

Armed with binoculars and cameras, avid birders joined expert Geoffrey Newell with Friends of Uplands Park to search for these birds Friday morning.

“You never know what you’re going to see because it’s migratory season,” said Lidkea. “I know that there are several people that are coming to Uplands Park [to try to find these birds]. I feel absolutely blessed when I see them.”

Lidkea encourages birders to report any rare sightings to Friends of Uplands Park. Their information can be found at friendsofuplandspark.org.


 

flavio.nienow@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria sees unemployment rise in November

Unemployment rate jumps to 3.5 per cent from 3.2 per cent

Mainly cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at the week’s forecast

Lead Island Health doctor backs Saanich push to lower provincial speed limits

Chief Medical Health Officer backs the bid to drop residential speed limits to 40 km/h

Fireballs fall Friday as brightest meteor shower of the year fills the skies

Geminid meteor shower features colourful, brighter, longer shooting stars

North Saanich Fire Department wins national Movember challenge

Team raises more than urban Edmonton, Toronto firefighters

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Most Read