Friday, February 19, 2021

February 19th - Cattle Point (#20)

Dan and I went for a late morning paddleboard out to Cattle Point. It was a bit windier than we expected/wanted which made the paddling a bit challenging as the water was lumpy in places and we are not as steady on the boards as in our kayaks! Our speed on the way out against the headwind was slower than the return as can be seen in the track. However, we never got up to our usual kayak cruising speed! As we did not go far from the shore, I did not see that many bird species (11): https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S81955989

click to enlarge

5 km, YTD 182 km

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

February 17th - Cadboro Bay (#19)

I went for a birding paddle around the bay on the surf ski, stopping to look at and try to photograph some of the birds I saw (see below). I saw 21 species https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S81846543 including the starlings on the road walking home! You can see many of the spots I stopped to look/photograph by the slow spots on the track.

common goldeneye - click to enlarge


a pair of marbled murrelets - click to enlarge

male and female hooded mergansers - click enlarge

click to enlarge

7 km, YTD 177 km

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

February 16th - discovery island (#18)

I paddled out to Cadboro Point where I met up with Dan and Paulo to paddle around the islands. Conditions were great, with a following current, until we rounded the corner at seabird Point (There were about 20 Steller sea lions on the two rocks). From Seabird Point to Commodore Point we were fighting a stiff headwind and lumpy water. Once around Commodore Point, the wind was on our side and the going was easier though we had current against us. You can see a big difference in my speed over ground between the outward trip and the return. Since the tide was at a middling level, there seemed to be many more shorebirds around including a small sandpiper I coould not ID. Today was a good birding day with 29 species recorded! https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S81768543

my track - click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 170 km


Saturday, February 13, 2021

February 13th - Cadboro Bay in snow (#17)

I went for an afternoon paddle because I could! :) There was ~8 inches of snow in the street walking down to the beach but the bay was reasonably calm. I managed a good birding session with 14 species (https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S81273597) in spite of the visibility. No one else on the water today and the RVUC boats were under snow (see below)

a view of the bay - click to enlarge

another view of the bay - click to enlarge

Dighies @ RVYC - click to enlarge

my track - click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 154 km

Sunday, February 07, 2021

February 7th - Cadboro Point (#16)

I led a group of SISKA paddlers (Sean, Julie, Darlene, Steven and  Leanne) out to play in the currents at Cadboro Point. We had fun learning how to do eddy to eddy S-turns and get a feel for moving water. Unfortunately we had to leave earlier than intended due to rising winds. We had a bit of lumpy water and wind in our face for the paddle back to Flower Island. It was cool to see both ancient and marbled murrelets close to Flower Island. We also had nice views of harbour seals and river otters. The bird checklist is here: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S80627050

A cool coincidence. Jennifer P happened to be flying by the point in a friend's plane and took this shot - you can see the kayaks from two of our group below the "glass house":

click to enlarge

Steven and Sean by the glass house - click to enlarge


click to enlarge

There is a link to view a zoomable version temporarily available here:  https://www.gpsvisualizer.com/display/20210207180305-01099-map.html 

7 km, YTD 149 km.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

February 6th - Finnerty Cove (#15)

Edgar and I set out from Cadboro Bay in relatively good conditions to paddle out to Cadboro Point and Maynard Cove where we met Jennie and Delcie. Due to the westerlies the current channel was a bit sloppy so we decided to paddle northwestwards and made it to Finnerty Cove for a lunch break.
If you look at the track plot, you can see by the colours that we had the westerlies and current in our face slowing us down. You can also see that Edgar and I had a strong headwind slowing us down between Cadboro Point and Flower Island. Between Cadboro Point and Flower Island the waters were a bit lumpy but for the rest of the trip we had pretty calm seas. It was harder to see birds in the lumpy waters, but we still managed to find 15 species: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S80554151 It was good to get a nice look at some surfbirds - I have not seen them very often this winter. I was also happy to see both ancient and marbled murrelets fairly close to shore.
click to enlarge
14 km, YTD 142 km

Friday, February 05, 2021

February 5th - Cadboro Bay (#14)

Dan and I went for an afternoon SUP around the bay. It was a bit windy from the SE to begin with which made paddling out hard. We crossed the bay, which was a bit lumpy, kneeling and then took a big rest at Flower Island. While we were resting the wind died down. A bit harder to see birds today but I still saw the usual suspects: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S80486902

Paddling a SUP definitely uses a different set of muscles!

click to enlarge

5 km, YTD 128 km

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

February 3rd - Chatham Island (#13)

 I Joined Jennie's group of Wednesday paddlers (Jennie, Julie, Julia, Pat, Diane and Barry) for a play in currents at Cadboro Point. A nice ebb had set in and we had fun ferrying back and forth and playing in the eddies. After a while we decided to head over to Chatham, encountering some lumpy water on the way. The "sluice" was running well and we had fun playing there too. On the way back the current was weaker and we made it over to Jemmy Jones and Cattle Point. We experimented with each others' paddles and I was able to give some pointers on greenland-style paddling. Sunny without too much wind made for a great day on the water. I was not as focussed on birding today so I submitted an incidental ebird list: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S80387242 The view of Mt. Baker today was spectacular!

our lunch spot - click to enlarge

Yours truly playing in the current - click to enlarge


click to enlarge

13 km, TDT 125 km

Monday, February 01, 2021

February 1st - Cattle Point (#12)

Dan and I went for a nice afternoon SUP paddle out to Cattle point. We managed to miss the rain and the wind as Dan wanted to try SUPing again. It was nice to be up high and seeing the water from a different perspective. No murrlets today, but we did not go very far from shore. Not as many species as normal but we still saw most of the usual suspects! https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S80292520

click to enlarge
5 km, YTD 110 km


Sunday, January 31, 2021

January 31 - Oak Bay (#11)

I joined Jennie and David at RVYC for a paddle over to Oak Bay. We had light rain on and off but importantly almost glass-calm seas - making for great birding. I got some great views of ancient murrelets, a brace of red-breasted mergansers as well as lots of others. Including the singing Bewick's wren I saw walking home from the beach, 23 species: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S80216349

a rather blurry view of what I think may be a red-necked grebe click to enlarge


click to enlarge

12 km, YTD

Saturday, January 30, 2021

January 30th - Cadboro Bay (#10)

I went for a relaxed birding paddle around the bay, stopping to try to get photos of some of the species I saw. I managed 20 species in the 6.5 km paddle and got some photos which are attached to the list. The photos are not portraits but I think are good enough to confirm the ID of six species.   https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S80156654 

Horned grebe in winter plumage - click to enlarge

pigeon guillemot in winter plumage - click to enlarge

4 double-crested and 3 pelagic cormorants plus two black turnstones - click to enlarge

Three ancient murrelets

Pigeon guillemot and Cadboro Point - click to enlarge


my route - click to enlarge

6 km, YTD 93 km




Friday, January 29, 2021

January 29th - Discovery Island (#9)

Dan and I saw a nice morning weather window in the forecast and went out in glassy conditions for a paddle around the islands. The wind picked up a little bit after the first hour or so but was not that bad. We saw lots of bald eagles on Discovery and possibly one golden eagle (but I am not confident enough to count it!) The current gave us quite a boost heading down Baynes Channel!

There were a lot of black oystercatchers around as well as cormorants. I also saw more pigeon guillemots that have turned towards summer plumage! No ancient murrelets seen today. We also saw a group of four male Califormia sea lions. We saw them on the way out in the middle of Cadboro Bay and on the way back near "old boat point". No Steller's sea lions seen out at Seabird Point on Discovery.

I wonder if the weekend weather will allow me to get ten paddles and 100km in the first month of the year! :)

nice light this morning - click to enlarge

Dan out ahead of me - click to enlarge


click to enlarge

15 km, YTD 87 km

Thursday, January 28, 2021

January 28th - Cadboro Bay (#8)

I led a SISKA paddle around the bay this morning. There were four of us in my pod (Liz, Paul, Tim and me). It was a bit chillier and windier than the last one but not too bad. Twenty bird species seen (https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S80035988) but no ancient murrelets! No surf scoter but one female white-winged scoter. I did notice that the pigeon guillemots seem to be darkening up - another sign of spring around the corner?

There was about a 10 knot wind throughout the paddle that made for a bit of lumpy water near Jemmy Jones, but not too bad

RVYC winds today

The wind report came from the RVYC weather station.

click to enlarge

9 km, YTD 72 km


Update 20120130: Tim shot a few pictures and sent them to me:

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

trying to paddle through the swing! click to enlarge


Sunday, January 24, 2021

January 23rd (#7) update

While Dan and I were out yesterday he got a snap of me. Not bad weather for mid-January! (Todays weather... not so nice!)

click to see full size


Saturday, January 23, 2021

January 23rd - Discovery Island (#7)

Dan and I started off our morning paddle with frost everywhere but calm sunny conditions and little current out there. We had a nice circuit of the islands (only the second time this year!) and saw most of the usual birds. Mt. Baker looked stunning as we crossed Baynes Channel with ancient murrelets popping up all around us. They are my pick for cutest seabird! 


Temperature graph from the "Killarney Kayak clubhouse"! - click to enlarge

You can see how things warmed up as we started our paddle at around 9 AM.

Today's bird list: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S79775067 

click to enlarge

16 km, YTD 63 km


Saturday, January 16, 2021

January 16th - Cadboro Bay (#6)

I went for an afternoon paddle with the surf ski - conditions were very nice for a relaxing putter along the shores, looking for birds. It was pretty cloudy around and there were no views of the American volcanoes!

I managed to clearly ID 20 species: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S79365059


I took my Canon S1 with 10x zoom in its waterproof case and was able to use a couple of shots with it to positively identify a common loon by size and the partical white neck band as well as confirm the common goldeneye.

Common Loon - fuzzy but the neck band is visible - click to enlarge


click to enlarge

9 km, YTD 47 km

Thursday, January 14, 2021

January 14th - Cadboro Bay (#5)

I organized and led a group of SISKA paddlers for a "light" paddle around Cadboro Bay. We noodled along the shoreline out to Cattle Point, over to Flower Island and back into Gyro Beach. Conditions were great  and we observed many birds: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S79246021 as well as some harbour seals and one male California Sea Lion! I am not sure that I have seen a sea lion in close to the beach before. I can't complain about January paddling conditions today!

Even though conditions were good, it looks like our paddle from 10-12 was during the windiest part of the day!

today's winds at RVYC -click to enlarge


Pod A route - click to enlarge

7 km, YTD 38 km

Friday, January 08, 2021

January 8th - Cadboro bay (#4)

 I decided to go for a quick SUP paddle around the bay before sunset. Conditions were idyllic and there were lots of people on the beach. I saw some nice birds as usual, though the highlight was seeing a Cooper's hawk as I walked back up the street to the house! https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S78908827

click to enlarge

3 km, YTD 31 km

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

January 6th - Cadboro Bay (#3)

I decided to take advantage of the beautiful afternoon and get out for a short, relaxed paddle. Conditions were nice  for birding and I think I may have seen the first example of a red-breasted merganser where I was confident I could see the red breast! https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S78802149

click to enlarge

5km, YTD 28 km.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Birds I have seen paddling recently

I have come to the realization that we have some pretty nice birds that can be seen regularly while paddling around Victoria! I thought I would try to do a post which highlights thirty of these with images. (My checklist for Jan 4th: https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S78679994)

None of the images are mine and are all linked from the Macaulay Library/ebird system


Harlequin duck


surf scoter

long-tailed duck

bufflehead

common goldeneye

hooded merganser

Common merganser


black turnstone


common murre


ancient murrelet

mew gull

glaucous-winged gull

pacific loon


common loon

pelagic cormorant

double-crested cormorant

bald eagle

northwestern/american crow

pigeon guillemot

The ones below were not seen today, but have been seen regularly in the past few weeks...
balck oystercatcher

greater yellowlegs

horned grebe

marbled murrlet

Canada goose

white-winded scoter

great blue heron

American wigeon

surfbird

black-bellied plover

killdeer

rhinoceros auklet