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:

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

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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. 

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

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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 ( 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:

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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: 

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:

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

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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: 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!

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!

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:

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

Harlequin duck

surf scoter

long-tailed duck


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


black-bellied plover


rhinoceros auklet