Sunday, 1 January 2017

Ending The Big Year

Dark eyed Junco
The last day of my big year has now past, and what a year it has been! An exciting, fun interesting year full of surprises. I have traveled all across B.C. and all the way to the other side of Canada. I have seen 217 interesting beautiful and incredible species of birds. I am so lucky to be doing this and to not be alone. So many people have helped me along the way and without them I would be nowhere. To all who helped especially Adrian Dorst, Jackie Windh, Artie Ahier, Ian Cruickshank,  Ann Nightingale, Rick Schortinghuis, my loving parents and wonderful bird dog Schooner.

In the last few days of the year I went to Victoria and Delta to bag a few more birds—our goal was to find 5 new ones. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw a short-eared owl, our 7th new bird of the trip. We also saw an American Kestrel a Mute Swan a Long Tailed Duck a Sky Lark a Canvasback and a Ruddy Duck. We also saw some not new birds, (but they're always a joy to see,) like the barred owl, black oystercatcher, brandt goose, common goldeneye and many others.

Black Oystercatcher

American Kestrel
Common Goldeneye
Barred Owl
Brandt goose

 I see new birds all the time, but I always love to see old favourites over and over again,
like Phooey, our resident great blue heron. 
Phooey comes for Christmas dinner!
Phooey gets shooed away due to terrible table manners!
My big year may be over, but birdymcbirdface will continue. ..
Come back soon and visit! Happy New Year!


  1. Such an amazing year of discovery for you, Toby! I have really enjoyed your blog. Thank you!

  2. Wow, I'm glad you got your kestrel after all!
    Congrats Toby, that is quite an accomplishment. Yes, do keep the blog up - I'll be checking it out!

  3. Greetings from PEI, Toby. Heard the CBC radio interview with you today and I was captivated. You are an incredible speaker and in my opinion you will certainly be going somewhere in some field of endeavour in life. What a fascinating year you just had. I'll be a groupy on your blog now. Happy New Year!

  4. Congrats on your big year and your amazing achievement!

  5. Congratulations Toby on a superb big year! Also congratulations on your excellent radio interviews (I heard you on the CBC radio here in Manitoba today and was very impressed with your responses)! It is wonderful to see such a young ambassador for the joy of birding. All the very best in all your future endevours!

    Christian Artuso
    Bird Studies Canada - Manitoba Program Manager

    1. Thank you. Manitoba has some beautiful birds too

  6. well done Toby. That's a really impressive achievement; and I hope that you've really enjoyed the journey. Love from Mike, Heather , Anna and Ruth. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  7. I heard your marvellous birding tales tonight on CBC. Congratulations all around for your ability to speak so naturally before a nationwide radio audience, to observe and describe your experiences so vividly and for speaking out about your compassion for the wildlife suffering from climatic instability. Keep up the travelling and speaking about it. I lead bird photography tours along Lake Ontario. It's snowy owl and bald eagle season beginning. Come join us for spring warbler migration in May!

  8. I've just heard you on CBC tonight. Congratulations, Toby. I want to tell you that I've seen ptarmigans at Hemlock, white in the winter and grey in the summer.

  9. Congrats on an amazing 2016 Toby ! I have UK chocolate goodies for you, your Mum and Dad ! An amazing effort finding our feathered friends on this continent ! Here's to a big year on another continent or hemisphere one day ;-)

  10. Hi Birdy,
    I too heard you on CBC and was blown away by your confidence, your thoughtful ideas, and powerful storytelling. You must be an amazing person !
    I am a teacher in Vernon, B.C. and also have a blog about an innovative school you might find interesting -

    If you would ever like to visit the Okanagan, I have a friend who lives on a bird sanctuary situated on Kalamalka Lake - Bishop's Bird Sanctuary. I would be very happy to connect you with Aaron and Laisha. You could also visit our school as a special guest - sharing your learning with us !
    I hope our paths will cross one day.
    Best wishes,
    Kim Ondrik

    1. Thank you for commenting! I went to Vernon a few years ago to go skiing at Silverstar and had an amazing time. I saw my first bighorn sheep and lots of harriers and ring necked pheasants. I would love to go to Vernon again!

  11. First of all - you're awesome! Keep it up. I hope you can inspire more people to care about the natural world around them. I've just launched a new birding app with a complete list of the birds of Vancouver Island. If you have an iPhone, or can get your hands on one, please check it out.