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Gold Finches. Photo Christian Gronau
General News · 17th May 2022
The weather on May 7 was very favourable for the approximately 20 birders that partook in the Cortes Island's Spring Migration Birding Event organized by the Cortes Island Museum. A total of 14 lists with observed species were collected and just over 90 species tallied. It is an impressive list too.

The Cortes and Mitlenatch environs are very diverse, and it is reflected in not just the number species but in their variety as our archipelago is a major stopover zone for the multitude of birds, some with nesting sites as far north as Alaska and all the lands between.

Highlights include two very rare shorebirds: the Golden Plover at Sprungman’s (the day before the count, see posting in the Tideline Gallery) and Autumn and Cory’s Solitary Sandpiper at Linnaea, at the restored Dillon Creek Wetlands. Also, eleven finches, seven warblers, six waders (sandpipers), four grebes, four woodpeckers (and we know the missing Hairy Woodpecker is out there somewhere!), sixteen ducks/geese (and we know the Wood Ducks at Kw’as pond were hiding!).

Not all birds on the list are migrants as many of the birds recorded are summer and year-round residents. And there are still birds out there on their way to Cortes; not everyone is here... Swainson’s Thrush, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and of course, our lovely "sound of summer" – the Nighthawk – last to arrive in the first week of June (although we did have one sighting of a Nighthawk already).

Do have a look at the list posted here and on the Museum's bird page, and get a feel for the variety.

I thank all the volunteers who just had plain old fun BIRDWATCHING, and the Museum for organizing and compiling all the data!

Lastly, take some time to listen to the chorus that we are treated to, in the next two months in particular, as the birds have come a long way to make Cortes their home!

Be on the lookout as new birds are coming every day – today (May 17) our glorious singer, the Swainson’s Thrush arrived!

George Sirk
Solitary Sandpiper, spotted at was spotted at the restored Dillon Creek Wetlands. Photo Autumn Willow
Solitary Sandpiper, spotted at was spotted at the restored Dillon Creek Wetlands. Photo Autumn Willow