I suppose it is kind of odd for a bird researcher to admit that I have never really taken part in organized birding. This is because I have never really considered myself a birder as such. I admire birders, with their excellent field sense and their identification skills, but I am more of a birdwatcher than a birder. I like watching birds, so long as I am getting insight into their behaviour or appreciating them aesthetically.
Nonetheless, I have adequate ID skills, at least as far as the winter fauna of Victoria goes, so Catherine signed us up as volunteers for the annual Christmas Bird Count. These events are an old tradition of the Audubon Society, and historically have provided quite a bit of abundance and presence/absence data on a continent-wide scale.
Victoria’s count took place yesterday, on a windy and rainy Saturday, which is not really the best weather to see lots and lots of birds. Most songbirds have to eat, however, so the early morning was bound to be at least somewhat productive.
We met other volunteers at a Tim Horton’s, and were assigned a largely-residential section adjacent to Panama Flats in Saanich. The objective is to walk the area, identifying and counting birds, recording how many of each species we saw. For a full list of what we saw, click here. Check out the pictures, and follow the Victoria count results here.