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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pay cuts, seating charts, COVID screening: How one Sidney venue is bringing back concerts

A growing number of bars and restaurants are welcoming back musicians under COVID-19 precautions

Head of Vancouver Island Regional Library says new branch in North Saanich hands

Area poised to see strong population growth, says director of corporate communication

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer loaded onto barge

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

City of Victoria expecting a 2020 deficit between $12.5 to $17.5 million

Victoria lost $1.2 million per month just from reduced parking fees during onset of pandemic

Greater Victoria Point-in-Time count finds over 1,500 people homeless

Capital Regional District says count should be treated as an underestimate

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Most Read