After a lovely breakfast at Le Petit Chou, in Nanaimo, we saw a hawk in a tree. We quickly pointed our binoculars skywards and identified it as a Cooper's hawk. While we were staring at this beautiful bird, a passer-by read the universal language (bird in tree + people with binoculars = birders) and gave us a helpful tip about a mountain bluebird at Pipers Lagoon in Nanaimo.
We didn't have much to do that day, but we knew what we were going to do now! A mountain bluebird is a rare surprise on Vancouver Island and I was thrilled to find it before the calendar turns to 2017 and Big Year ends. The clock is ticking and I would very much appreciate help finding Ancient Murrelets and owls. And any other birds that aren't on my list, of course. (See link)
Ancient Murrelets! We spent the whole two-hour ferry ride from Duke Point to Tsawassen, sitting outside in the freezing rain looking for the little buggers, with no luck.