124th CBC Results

Provisional Results 124th  Christmas Bird Count
December 14, 2023 to January 5, 2024

We will post results here as we receive them. If your count has taken place, we’d be happy to post your summary. Please leave the count name, species count, highlight species and any additional information you wish to include in the Leave a Reply box at the bottom of this table.

Count Name


Provisional Results

100 Mile House  Dec 16
With warm temperatures this year we had our highest species count yet, at 47 species on the count itself. Two additional count week species have been included, bringing the total to 49. 1511 individual birds were counted, which is also high but not the highest.
Notable species include many waterfowl species (unusual in winter), Mourning Dove, Black-billed Magpie, White-breasted Nuthatch, WIlson’s Snipe, White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows, and Brewer’s Blackbird. – Paul Foth
Abbotsford-Mission  Dec 27
Cache Creek
Bamfield Jan 5 

Bamfield’s 37th annual Christmas bird count started on a stormy January 05, 2024 morning. 24 birders observed nearly 1700 birds representing 59 species in the Huu-ay-aht First Nations Hahuuli. The data contributes to the oldest and largest citizen science project in the world. View the worldwide trends here: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/where-have-all-birds-gone and if you’re interest is piqued, join us next year!

Thank you to the Canadian Coast Guard, Bamfield Marine Science Center, Breakers Marine, Inlet Express Water Taxi, and Jamie Gilkison who contributed transportation for the count which would have been impossible without the guidance of Anne Stewart. Bird highlights include Pied-billed Grebes, an American Dipper, 8 Trumpeter Swans, and ZERO geese. Due to the heavy weather with big swells, strong winds, and intense hail, the weather created the most memorable stories.

Thank you to the birders who travelled from Victoria to assist in the challenging conditions. The experts from Rocky Point Bird Observatory and UVIC Birders club shared many identification lessons during an evening debrief. – Daniel Zayonc

Bella Coola Dec 16

Here are the results for the 2023 Christmas Bird Count.  The total count was 32 species. Thanks so much to the keen group of 14 birders who trudged, skied and rowed through the fog, mist and sloppy snow to contribute to this important international bird study.  It was lovely to have soup and sweets over lively conversation about our feathered friends!

Canada Geese 115, Trumpeter Swan 5, Mallard 97, Green-winged Teal 11, Bufflehead 7, Common Goldeneye 3, Common Merganser 4, Duck sp. 11, Great Blue Heron 4, Sharp-shinned Hawk 1, Bald Eagle 22, Glaucous-winged Gull 12, Gull sp. 205, Eurasian-collared Dove 4, Belted Kingfisher 3, Northern Flicker 4, Steller’s Jay 11, Northwestern Crow 197, Common Raven 66, Chestnut backed Chickadee 43, Pacific Wren 3, American Dipper 13, Golden-crowned Kinglet 9, American Robin 3, Varied Thrush 16, Fox Sparrow 1, Dark-eyed Junco 92, Song Sparrow 6, Spotted Towhee 2, Pine Grosbeak 4, Purple Finch 1, Pine Siskin 74

Big White  Dec 20
Bridge Lake Dec 16
Broughton Strait Dec 30 On December 30, 2023, 23 intrepid bird enthusiasts counted birds seen or heard on Malcolm Island and in the Port McNeill area for the 28th annual Broughton Strait CBC. There was no count on Cormorant Island We saw a total of 69 species, accounting for 4420 birds, while enjoying the improving weather through the day finishing with sunshine and virtually no wind. Highlights species of the Port McNeill survey were two Wilson’s Snipe found by Peter, and locating resident Greater white-fronted Geese that have been over wintering at the harbour front. We also observed a greater than average number of killdeer at Alder Bay. Canada geese, American widgeon and green-winged teal showed up in good numbers in Rough Bay, and Harlequin Ducks, Surf
Scoters, Buffleheads, Red-breasted Mergansers and Horned and Red-necked Grebes made a strong showing throughout the Malcolm Island count areas. Common Murres and Pigeon Guillemots were fairly abundant off the north shore and Mitchell Bay and large numbers of Black Turnstones were seen working the beaches in Rough Bay, along Kaleva and in Mitchell Bay. This count was right on the average for the 28 years of this count that has ranged from 55 to 80 bird species. This year I was out to several locations and as it turned out I found 7 species we all missed on December 30th. Missing birds on count day is common, you can’t get’em all. For instance, we found 7 Northern Flickers on December 30th but no other woodpeckers! Others likely here that I could not find within count week were Red-breasted sapsucker, pileated and hairy woodpeckers. Those species I did find for count week included Snow Goose, Cackling Goose, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, House Finch and House Sparrow … missed but not forgotten! – Gord Curry.  Here is more on the count:  https://mibirdclub.wordpress.com/
Bella Bella-Denny Island  
Cache Creek  
Campbell River Dec 30
There were 28 participants (on 11 teams) this year versus 36 last year. We had 87 species against 94 species last year.
49 Northern Pintails were the highest ever, but otherwise waterfowl numbers were significantly down all around, likewise for shorebirds. Anna’s Hummingbirds were holding their own at 66, despite recent harsh winters. There were only 10 Varied Thrush this year, 62 last year. In fact almost all numbers were on the low side.  We did have a tremendous storm a week earlier, and rivers especially were high and fast.
Castlegar Dec 16
Chilliwack Dec 16

Temperatures on December 16 were at 4 to 9°C with light winds and fog till as late as 1:00 pm, in the north of the count area with clear sunny skies all day in higher elevations. The number of individual bird counters and groups were up from last year’s count. Counters did an excellent job as usual of finding and identifying birds!

This year’s count day attracted a total of 41 counters on 16 routes plus 10 feeder watchers. They observed 98 different bird species and 1 count week species the same as last year. The total of individual birds came to 45,000 up 5,724 birds.

This year 7 species broke high record numbers for individuals and one tied a past record. The record breaking high counts were 10792 Cackling Goose, 77 Northern Shoveler, 147 Northern Pintails, 824 Lesser Scoup, 11 Western Gulls, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 568 White-crowned Sparrows. Merlin tied the 2014 high of 8 and Bewick’s Wren was one down from the 1979 high of 10 individuals. We recorded 41 Anna’s Hummingbirds and last year 40, 63 below the 2018 high of 102 birds. European Collared Doves were down with 195 seen this year 167 lower than the 2019 high count of 362 doves. We found three owl species on count day this year 2 Great Horned Owls and 1 Northern Pygmy-owl plus a Barn Owl for count week. There were some species with relatively low numbers too. Only 46 American Robins and 35 Pine Siskin’s were observed, plus we have never see more than one Northern Pygmy- owl. We had some rare species as well on the count day, 1 Harris’ Sparrow, 8 Bohemian Waxwings and on count week 7 Mourning Doves. We also had a new species a White- breasted Nuthatch. ‘New’ birds are defined as birds never before seen on the Chilliwack CBC day or week. Since the Chilliwack count started 45 years ago in the winter of 1978-79, our participants have found a total of 170 confirmed species in the Chilliwack CBC area. Full details are on the Nature Chilliwack website.

Comox Dec 17 The Comox CBC was held on 17 December 2023 in cool, overcast weather, but no wind, with 65 birders in 26 parties, mostly of 2-3 birders, and 2 feeder counters. We had a good count with 111 species and 33,317 individuals recorded on count day, and 4 additional species recorded during count week. Unusual species on count day were Ruddy Duck, Mourning Dove, Ruddy Turnstone, Rhinoceros Auklet, Northern Pygmy-Owl, White-throated Sparrow, and Harris’s Sparrow. Unusual species during count week were Wood Duck and Ring-necked Pheasant. In general, waterbird numbers were strong and forest birds were average. Also notable were a minimum of 2000 Pacific Loons in a single feeding flock at the edge of a deep-water gully near the Komas Bluff area on Denman’s NE shore. Art Martell, compiler.
Cortes Island Dec 17 Sunday, December 17 was a lovely day to conduct our Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count. It was calm with some early fog but turned sunny and mild at 5 to 7 C. A total of 28 participants participated, and another 10 or so reported from their feeders at home. The “count day” was bracketed on each side by three days of observation defined as “Count Week” – CW. Our species count was 67, and we counted 2873 birds. 4 further species were observed during the count week. The average # of species recorded in 22 years is around 70. The total # of individuals was about average as well.The most common seabird is the Surf Scoter with 1411 – the highest total since 2001 with 1440. The second place went to the Bufflehead with 133, the highest since 2005 (136). White-winged Scoter came in at 56 – most since 2005 (134). The Greater Scaup had the highest # ever with 65, and the Harlequin had 77, the most in five years. Common Loon came in at 70 – the highest # ever. Red-necked Grebes also set a record at 60. Horned Grebes, 60, and one Eared Grebe were noted in Seaford. No Western Grebes were recorded on the count week, but approximately 100–200 were spotted off Read Island two weeks after the count. This bird was missed during our CBC count as the species prefers deep water and is hard to observe from shore. The Great Blue Heron came in at 15, an 8-year high (16). In the 22 years of observation, the number 15 was seen only once, in 2004. It’s great to see this wonderful bird make a comeback!“Hundreds” of ducks were observed in the distance at Sutil Point, but this area was hard to reach due to the high tides and the need for more observers to scout the area. The reef off Marina Island was not censused; it would also add hundreds of seabirds to the tally. Shark Spit was visited by a kayak from Whaletown. One explanation for the high numbers of seabirds observed is possibly because of the excellent conditions: the sea was glass calm with hardly any wind, and the sun helped as well; around 2100 seabirds were identified! A bird of note is the Semipalmated Plover in Whaletown and 4 Killdeer in Smelt Bay. Greater Yellowlegs came in at 3, again in Whaletown. And it should be noted that two weeks later, 14 Yellowlegs were seen in Whaletown Bay! This species has been moving north over the years, possibly due to the mild weather, as ice in the bay would make it hard for them to feed. Gulls were low in numbers.22 Bald Eagles and 1 Red-tailed Hawk.  Sharp-shinned & Cooper’s Hawk were also spotted, and it was great to get 2 Pygmy Owls and a Barred Owl. Pygmies are making a slow comeback.Some forest bird numbers were down. No Red-breasted Sapsuckers were spotted on the day of the count but were seen during the CW. They are secretive. Other woodpeckers were about average. 14 Anna’s Hummingbirds came in from bird feeders, an average. All the finches/sparrows were down in numbers. The cyclic Red Crossbill (4) and Pine Siskin (1) are at a low point. Juncos dropped from 717 last year to 129. Most of the finch and sparrow records come in from feeders.Overall, it was a great day for the count. The fair weather certainly helps birders to spot the birds. – George SirkHere is a complete checklist of the count.
Cranbrook Dec 2  47 species were counted (39 species last year, average 44, all years 101 species) – plus 3 species during count week. Total number of individual birds were 2,194 (1,511 last year, average 2,576). This was an average number for the 26 years of the Cranbrook count but welcome after low (1,511) numbers last year. This was bolstered by record numbers of Mountain Chickadee (244, average 110).Summary
This was the 26th official count for the Cranbrook CBC. The word for this year’s count is “solid”.  While several species again had low numbers, we managed to find at least few of each to bump up our overall species tally – so “near-misses” – giving us 8 more species than last year. Missed:  We missed only four species that we could expect:  Wild Turkey, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Belted Kingfisher, and American Goldfinch. The weather was unusually pleasant with little to no wind, some sunshine in the afternoon, and warm temperatures around freezing.  There was little snow cover everywhere; all no doubt made possible by the El Nino phenomenon this year. The counters: People going out into the field driving or walking, numbered 15 birders and friends and we walked 15 km and drove 344 km.  Six feeder watchers contributed feeder counts reporting one unique species (Spotted Towhee) and 208 individual birds. One new species was added to the Cranbrook Christmas Bird Count list:  Long-tailed Duck (4), a strikingly beautiful duck whose male has long tail feathers in summer, the females have a large black cheek patch surrounded by white in the winter.  They are a rare visitor in the area during migration and winter, preferring the ocean in non-breeding season the tundra for breeding.  Perhaps these ducks were brought in by the same weather conditions that gave us a rare Pomarine Jaeger in October. Rare for the count were a White-crowned Sparrow, not seen on the count since 1999, a Spotted Towhee which has been on only four of our 26 counts, and a Cassin’s Finch – these species are not uncommon in summer.Teamwork The Christmas Bird Count is a brilliant example “community science”.  Frequently, one field team or a feeder watcher are the only ones to see a species. This year 13 species were seen by only one team. The South Cranbrook team got our only American Robin (2), which were hanging out with some Blue Jays near Victoria Avenue.  The Jimsmith-Moyie team saw the only Common Goldeneye (7), Common Merganser (3), Great Blue Heron (1), Red Crossbill (11), and first for the count Long-tailed Duck (4).  The New Lake-Old Wycliffe team scraped up one Clark’s Nutcracker and two Brown Creeper. The Mission-North Cranbrook team found our only Mourning Dove, Cassin’s Finch, and White-crowned Sparrow – one of each – as well as Red-winged Blackbird (8) and Evening Grosbeak (6).  A feeder watcher in South Cranbrook got the Spotted Towhee that has been hanging around their feeder all winter and continues.Low Numbers Bohemian Waxwing (93) numbers for the past 10 years have ranged from 11 to 825.  Their numbers are always variable and are low again this year.  Common Goldeneye (7) numbers have been trending downward the past three years.High Numbers European Starling (114) numbers were the second highest number to date; the most we’ve counted was 181 in 2014.  The 244 Mountain Chickadee counted was the second highest total for them to date; the highest was 292 in 2020.  This put them in the second most numerous species this year, after first-place Mallard (309).  The most numerous species usually alternates between Mallard and Bohemian Waxwing, with House Finch taking third spot.Count Week Species that were missed on count day but seen during the three days before or after (in other words, we could have got if we had been at the right place at the right time) were Green-winged Teal and Horned Grebe, both seen by people foraying to Moyie Lake to get the Long-tailed Duck.Winter feeder species Below average numbers of Common Redpoll (71) were seen but this was better than last year when we saw only twelve. Above average numbers of Pine Grosbeak (53) were seen; we missed them last year so it’s nice to get this number.  Their numbers are always variable.  Clark’s Nutcracker (1) has shown a general down trend since a high of 90 in 2011.  The low number of Evening Grosbeak (6) shows how sporadic spotting them has been the past eight years; perhaps they are missing consistently filled feeders.  Red Crossbill (11) numbers had been increasing the previous 4 years but are low again this year.  One Cassin’s Finch was seen, which is unusual because they are mostly a spring and autumn species.  They have been on twelve of our 26 counts.
Year-round species Below average were Pileated Woodpecker (2), Dark-eyed Junco (15), which have had good numbers the past six years, Song Sparrow (7), and House Finch (143), which was almost half of average like last year. Above average were Downy Woodpecker (22), whose numbers recovered from a low in 2021, Hairy Woodpecker (17), whose numbers recovered from a low of 4 in 2021, Northern Flicker (45), which were close to their highest (51) from 2018, Steller’s Jay (11), which has been missed only once in 26 counts, and Red-breasted Nuthatch (73), which were low in 2021 but numbers have been good for them the past six years. Average numbers were seen for Canada Jay (9), which continues on every count, Blue Jay (15), Black-capped Chickadee (102), and White-breasted Nuthatch (5) which has been on only three of the past 7 counts but was reliable before that. High numbers of Mountain Chickadee (244) were counted.  This is their second highest number on 26 counts; the highest was 292 in 2020.  They may be showing an upward trend. Low numbers of Pine Siskin (4) were counted but they were missed altogether the previous two years. Hopefully, they are just somewhere else again this winter. The eBird “Trends” map says they are generally increasing in the area https://science.ebird.org/en/canada/status-and-trends/species/pinsis/trends-map
Introduced species
Below average numbers of Eurasian Collared-Dove (6) were found – this species was first recorded on a Cranbrook count in 2012.  Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (184) were above average. House Sparrow (38) was below average and most birds were not in their usual spot at Superstore or Walmart.  European Starling (114) numbers were their second highest ever; the highest was 181 in 2014.

Numerous species

Bohemian Waxwing (93) numbers were low again; they have ranged from 11 to 825 over the past 10 years.  Common Raven (223) was a bit below average. Mallard (309) numbers were above average and they were spread out throughout the city, even the Gold Creek area.  American Crow (249) had high numbers – their third highest number to date.

Year-round species

Bald Eagle (4) and Townsend’s Solitaire (4) numbers were a bit below average but they continue on every count.  The only year-round species above average was Black-billed Magpie (5).  Average numbers were seen for Merlin (2), Chestnut-backed Chickadee (3), which has been on 7 of 26 counts, Brown Creeper (2), which has been on the last six counts, American Dipper (9), which was missed last year, unsurprisingly, given the icy weather, so it’s good to get average number this year.  Mourning Dove (1) are still scarce.Winter species Winter visitor Northern Shrike (2) has been on 19 of our 26 counts.Summer species The two American Robin seen is below average but they have been on 17 of 26 counts.  Seeing three Red-tailed Hawk is typical and they have been on almost half of the Cranbrook counts.  Common Merganser (3) have been on five of past 7 counts but they were scarce previously.  Getting Great Blue Heron (1) has been infrequent the past 14 years but was usual on earlier counts.  Red-winged Blackbird (8) numbers were average and they have been on eleven of the past 26 counts.  This is the third time for White-crowned Sparrow (1) on the Cranbrook count and only the fourth for Spotted Towhee – both are common here in summer.
Creston Valley Dec 27 It was a beautiful balmy day to count birds on December 27th, 2023 with no snow, no rain, and no wind.  28 volunteers headed out into the field within the count circle.  Another 22 volunteers watched their birdfeeders to contribute to this year’s  count of 66 species.
With the lack of snow coverage, the raptors were out in full force to catch their easy-to-get prey. On the Kootenay River Road, 9 Rough-legged Hawks were spotted on power posts or trees.  The Red-tail Hawks preferred West Creston (12 seen) and the Wynndel Flats (9 seen).  Other raptors that were out hunting were Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper’s Hawk, Merlin, American Kestrels, Northern Harriers and, of course, Bald Eagles.
The mild weather might have been a factor in low bird numbers at the feeders.  Birds are able to get food naturally and did not rely as much for our help.
230 House Finches were found including 2 that were a yellow color variant .
It seems that the introduced species are becoming the highest in numbers.  The California Quail are an introduced game bird and this year 73 birds were found.  Wild Turkeys crossed the international border from Washington in the 60’s and now they are widely distributed in our valley with 280 birds found on count day.  The Eurasian Collared Dove is a non-native species introduced to North America in the 1980’s.  There were almost 300 seen with a healthy population on the Kootenay River Road.  The House (English) Sparrow are native to Europe and arrived in 1851 to New York and quickly spread across the continent.  They can be heard chattering in bushes all around town.
D’Arcy-Birken Dec 18 We are a small group, 8 counters and several feeder counters.  Our total species count was 35, somewhat less than usual.  It was a strange day as the birds were hard to find.  thanks, Ann Robertson
Dawson Creek Dec 30
Deep Bay Dec 21 The Deep Bay CBC was held on 21 December 2023 in cool, windy weather with 62 birders in 31 parties, mostly of 2-3 birders, and 13 feeder counters.  We had an average count with 93 species and 14,517 individuals recorded on count day, and 7 additional species recorded during count week.   Unusual species on count day were Townsend’s Solitaire and White-throated Sparrow and on Count Week, Brant, Wilson’s Snipe and Townsend’s Warbler. Art Martell, compiler
Duncan Dec 30

This year the Duncan had warmer than normal temperatures and a wide variety of weather that was mostly pleasant. Our volunteers came out in full force this year with over 80 participants, compared to 72 in 2022, and 54 in 2021.  Feeder count participants were similar to previous years.

An impressive 186 checklists were submitted via eBird, with additional efforts tallied and provided to us on paper and via email. A total of 116 species were observed on count day (up from 113 species in 2022, and 102 species in 2021).  Other species seen during the count week included Golden Eagle, and Virginia Rail, bringing our species count for the week to 118. Rarities for the 2023 count included the return of the Tufted Duck at the Sewage Lagoons (for the third count in a row!).

Early morning owl survey efforts resulted in the detection of Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl and Northern Pygmy Owl, but no Western Screech-owl.  That species decided to show up a few days later, outside of our count week, at Somenos Marsh and is now a local celebrity.

Thanks to boat survey efforts we were able to include species such as Black Scoter, Western Grebe, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet, and Bonaparte’s Gull.

Noteworthy landbirds included:  Common Redpoll, Pine Grosbeak, American Goldfinch, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Dipper, Northern Shrike, Herring Gull, Western Gull, and Tundra Swan.

We are still compiling the data but some of the highlights included:

3027 Canada Geese (2807 last year), 1571 Cackling Geese, 576 Trumpeter Swans (678 last year, and 430 in 2021), 1956 Mallards, 1327 Bufflehead, 598 Common Mergansers, 1160 Glaucous-winged Gulls, 185 Bald Eagles, 797 American Robins, 168  Pine Siskins (51 in 2022, and 1095 in 2021), 1988 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1918 European Starlings, 42 Eurasian-Collared Doves (76 last year and 82 in 2021)

Edgewood Dec 27 Northern Flicker 3, Common Raven 16, Black-capped Chickadee 10, Red-tailed Hawk 1, Bald Eagle 7, Common Redpoll 75, European Starling 15, American Dipper 2, Common Golden eye 4, Crow 3, Canada Goose 6, Wild Turkey 12, Song Sparrow 1, Hairy Woodpecker 1, Stellar Jay 3. – Terryl Allen
Fauquier Dec 17 We had 444 individuals and 37 species. The weather was mild and calm, but cloudy. We had about 10 participants, including Gary Davidson. His scope was appreciated! A highlight for me was a Northern Shrike landing on a wire in front of us. We also had Trumpeter Swans all week, but not on the day, so added as cw as well as a lone Snow Goose in a flock of Canada Geese. Hardly any waterfowl on Arrow Lakes due to our water levels being so low. The cute American dippers are plentiful on Caribou creek though, and we’re lucky to spot our elusive Kingfisher!
Fernie Dec 17
Fort St. James Dec 28
Galiano-North Saltspring Dec 17
Golden Dec 30 36 species were reported on the CBC this year. There was a total of 31 participants, with 13 of these being at their feeders. It was a cloudy day with the temperature ranging from -7.3 C to -3.3 C. It had been an unusually warm winter up until the end of December. There was about 9 cm of snow, still water being frozen and moving water partly frozen.There were a low number of Bohemian waxwings (228) and 2 rare birds were spotted: 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler and 1 Fox Sparrow. The birder that reported the Fox Sparrow observed one individual several times at his feeder during count week, and last reported this species at the same feeder location in 2015 during the Golden CBC. It was not entered at that time in the list. He is a long-term birder who has participated in every Golden CBC. I have spoken with him, and he is certain this is an accurate report.

The Yellow-Rumped Warbler was observed by experienced birders and sound recorded on Merlin. No photo was possible. – Joan Dolinsky, Annette Luttermann

Grand Forks
Greater Masset Dec 27
Harrison River Dec 14
Harrop–Balfour  Dec 16 There were 44 species and 1335 birds counted. Higher than usual Buffleheads (103), Horned Grebes (21), Common Goldeneye (85), Common Merganser (20), Rock Dove (26), Pine Grosbeak (20) and a lower than usual number of Canada Geese (26). Absent from the count were Pine Siskins.Weather was calm, cloudy and just above freezing. 21 plus participants. The Sharp-shinned Hawk, 5 Snow Buntings (seen during count week) and 5 European Starlings were new to our count but often sighted in this area. I would say the most unusual thing was that we did not have any American Robins – same result in neighbouring CBCs. – Charlie Zinkan
Hat Creek Jan 4 I was the only bird counter and had the worst count ever at Hat Creek which is between Lillooet & Cache Creek. Weather was the usual down to -5 & clear but a big grey snowy cloud coming in from the East. The usual people who help were not available. Seen were 1 Northern Pygmy Owl, 3 Black-billed Magpies, and 2 Song Sparrows. Count week there was a Bald Eagle (adult).
This is a ranch valley so usually there are tons of Magpies.
Also always Townsend’s Solitaires. But this year when I went up in November to check the area there were none, also none were seen on the Lillooet count – Heather Baines
Hecate Strait Jan 1
Jaffray-Wardner Dec 14 This year, on a Thursday, the most abundant birds were Mallard (365), Wild Turkey (152) and Black-capped Chickadee (113). In previous years, American Crow (157), Dark-eyed Junco (169) and Red Crossbill (98) were the top 3.
Three ‘new’ species were discovered during this third count – White-breasted Nuthatch, Pygmy Nuthatch and Pine Grosbeak. And Townsends Solitaire, Bohemian Waxwing and Red Crossbill could not be found.
A relatively mild, snowy morning with limited visibility made cameras and binoculars troublesome and caused many small birds to find shelter and hide.
This count provided slightly lower numbers of species (40 vs 45) and individuals (980 vs 1160). ​
Kamloops Dec 17

We had 38 participants and 1 on feeder watch.  We identified 76 species and a total of 8433 birds.  Counts were up considerably over last year, quite likely due to the milder weather.  We had temperatures above freezing, whereas last year (only 51 species) it was minus 25 during the count.  This count was our highest in the past 5 years. Highlights were two American Three-toed Woodpeckers, three Turkey Vultures, a White-winged Scoter and a Yellow-billed Loon.

Kaslo Dec 30 There were 30 total CBC counters including 5 feeder watchers. 41 species (including count week) were counted for a total of 735 individuals.
Kelowna Dec 16
Kimberley Jan 3 This was the 26th official count for the Kimberley CBC.The words for this year’s count are “woodpecker slam dunk” for the wondrous count of 18 woodpeckers of 5 different species seen by one team in one area – the recent burn at the end of LD Ranch Road.  They got 3 American Three-toed, 5 Black-backed, 2 Downy, 4 Hairy, and 4 Pileated Woodpeckers within a single kilometer – that’s a lot of drumming!Missed:  Notable misses were Snow Bunting, after being seen on the previous three counts and Varied Thrush which had been reported earlier in the week but did not show on count day.  It was seen after count day, too.The weather for the Kimberley count, as with the Cranbrook one, was unusually pleasant with little to no wind and warm temperatures around freezing.  There was exceptionally light snow at various times but it did not impede seeing birds.  Snow cover was also unusually thin.The counters: People going out into the field driving or walking, numbered 16 birders and friends and we walked 15 km and drove 295 km.  Three other feeder watchers contributed feeder counts contributing one unique and rare-in-winter species in Wycliffe townsite, White-crowned Sparrow (2).Also rare for the count was a lone Canada Goose, which has been on only six of our 26 counts but obviously some hardy ones only go as far south as they have to.No new species were added to the Kimberley CBC circle this year.  The last new species was Sharp-shinned Hawk added last year.The 1,572 individual birds counted were a low number again which has brought down the average number of individuals to 2,329 from 2,361 last year.
Kuskanook Jan 3 This area includes Channel Road to Duck Lake and Kootenay Lake up to the glass house. Nine volunteers counted 68 species. Among the surprises were a Pacific Loon, a White-breasted Nuthatch and a Golden Eagle.
Kitimat Dec 16
Ladner Dec 17
Ladysmith Dec 17 Mild weather was clearly a factor in a new high of 94 species recorded during the Ladysmith Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 17. There were 28 participants, similar to last year’s total, and three of those were solely bird feeder watchers. The count area includes not only Ladysmith, but Saltair, Chemainus, Thetis Island and most of Penelakut Island. It was overcast, calm and a high of 8 C on the count day. Species new to the count list this year were: Long-tailed Duck, Short-eared Owl, Marbled Murrelet, Peregrine Falcon, Hermit Thrush and White-throated Sparrow. Usual species that were missed included: American Goldfinch, Sharp-shinned Hawk, White-winged Scoter and American Dipper. Additional species seen during the count week were Sharp-shinned Hawk, Eared Grebe and Common Murre.Notable high counts of species were: Bufflehead (358), Barred Owl (5 + 1 found dead), American Crow (314, with 126 seen on Penelakut Island near the ferry terminal) and Brown-headed Cowbird (13). Low counts included: Canada Goose (200), Mallard (187), Bald Eagle (25), Red Crossbill (1) and Pine Siskin (9).
 Lake Country Dec 14
Lake Windermere District Dec 16 Numbers were a little bit lower than expected. The weather was grey but mild. There had been a recent snowfall. The only open water is in the Athalmer area, we had good numbers there this year. There were 25 participants and 37 species in total.
Langara Island
Lardeau Dec 27 We were pleased to have had 40 species for count day, which is slightly better than average, with a total of 649 birds. Two new species for count day were a Spruce Grouse and Northern Saw-whet owl. Wild turkeys seem to be everywhere this year, unlike the redpolls, siskins and other finches.
Lasqueti Island Dec 30
Lillooet Dec 26 53 species were counted with 24 people participating. The temperature ranged from 3 to 8 C and it was partly cloudy. These were above average temperatures and unusually there were salmon spawning, which is very unusual at this time of year.
Little River-Powell River Ferry Jan 1 The Little River-Powell River Ferry count, postponed from the original date, had better weather on Jan 1, cloudy with  some wind offshore. 13 birders participated finding 26 species with decent numbers of Short-billed Gull, Ancient Murrelet and Pacific Loon. A couple of Humpback Whales were also seen.
Logan Lake
Lower Howe Sound Jan 1
McBride Dec 17
Merritt Dec 16

The 25th Merritt Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was held on 16 December 2023, with 27 field participants and 3 feeder watchers. It was a highly successful count – we tallied 67 species on the count day (well above the average of 61 species) and added another 2 in the count week. The total count of birds, 5,998 was the second-highest ever, thanks to 3,315 Mallards on Nicola Lake and the surrounding fields. Several new and unusual species were found.

Two new species for the count area were found on the count day: Pacific Loon and Common Grackle. A third new species, White Pelican, was photographed on Nicola Lake during the count week but was not seen on the count day.

Other unusual species on the count included Tundra Swan (on only 3 previous counts), Northern Shoveler (on 2 previous counts), Sharp-tailed Grouse (only the second time in 25 years), Peregrine Falcon (on 2 previous counts) and Yellow-rumped Warbler (on one previous count).

Species found in exceptionally high numbers included Barrow’s Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Common Loon, White-breasted Nuthatch, Song Sparrow and House Sparrow.

Species we usually find but were missing on this count included Sharp-shinned Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk and Pileated Woodpeckers. And the strangest of all was the complete absence of blackbirds; normally we record over 100 of both Red-winged Blackbirds (found on 22 previous counts) and Brewer’s Blackbirds (on 21 counts).

For the first time in four years we were able to hold our traditional post-count get-together. At the United Church hall we enjoyed pizza, yummy appies and desserts and stories of the day’s birding.

Full details and photos on the Nicola Naturalist Society website:


Naden Harbour
Nakusp Jan 1 This years count was slightly above average for number of species but well below average for total individuals. We had 44 species and 878 individuals; average is 42/1458. Probably the most unexpected species on the list is the House Sparrow! There has not been one reported in Nakusp since 2002. The Rusty Blackbird was also a pleasant surprise. It’s just the 3rd time we’ve had them on the count.
Nanaimo Dec 27
Nanoose Bay/Lantzville Dec 15

We recorded 91 species with 6811 individuals, this is down from last year’s count of 97 and 7757. Some notable drops in birds like Canada Geese, American Wigeons, Mallards, Buffleheads and Pacific Loons. These are birds we often see in large flocks so they just might have been elsewhere on count day. But Surf Scoters were way up (1164), maybe because a big flock was in the circle on the day. Bald Eagles were up by 3, Anna’s Hummingbirds were down by 34, Steller’s Jays up by 64, Chickadees up by 60, Juncos were down by 787. If I recall correctly there were only 17 participants this year. We have a smaller circle than others because we are sandwiched between Nanaimo and Parksville/QB with both of those older counts taking part of our area. – Joe Crichton

Narcosli No CBC in 2023
Nelson  Dec 30
Thank you to all participants for turning out and walking about 66 km in total and for driving just over 100 km to check birds in all the various areas of our Nelson Count Circle.  There was basically no snow on the ground (other than up at Whitewater) and no rainfall at all.  The skies were definitely cloudy all day, but the wind stayed fairly calm, which I am sure the waterfront walkers appreciated!
The main thing we found is that there were not as many birds as in past counts, although definitely more than in 2021 when we had the lovely deep snow and ended up with only 529 birds in 35 species.  But certainly less than our biggest year – 2020 – with 4,249 in 57 species.
This year, on a moderately mild day, we counted 1,906 birds in 55 species, with three new birds – Barred Owl (also our only count week bird) that a few people reported as having heard in various spots over the last several days, Back-billed Magpie seen on the Taghum North route, and a White-breasted Nuthatch seen up on the Middle Road.  Rare Bird forms have been sent in for each of these sightings.
Oliver-Osoyoos Dec 30 It was mild and calm with extensive fog in morning, clearing to high overcast in afternoon with patchy fog. 1 to 4 C with no snow in valley and mid-elevations, 8 inches at summit of Mount Kobau (which was accessible by car). All valley lakes and ponds were open, Kilpoola and Blue Lake were almost entirely frozen. Viewing conditions on lake exceptional. 35 observers in 14 to 16 parties, 106 party-hours, 558 party-kilometres. Highlights included 3 Cackling Geese, 130 Common Goldeneye and 78 Barrow’s Goldeneye, 3 Ruddy Ducks, 1 Eared Grebe, and 1 Golden-crowned Sparrow. Species total was 110 with 16315 individuals recorded.
Parksville-Qualicum Beach Dec 17 53 birders participated in the field count enjoying the calm warmer weather.  This probably contributed to the very high counts for Pacific Loons (>5,300) and Common Murres (>2,700).  The number of Common Murres was triple the previous high.  The field and feeder teams observed a total of 114 species and 30,085 birds which is within our normal range.  The other high counts were Greater Yellowlegs and Savannah Sparrows.  Other unusual species included Glaucous Gull, Canvasback, Redhead,Yellow Billed Loon, and Mourning Doves.  The 44 feeder counters helped identify some of these uncommon species.  Thanks to all the participants and sponsors.
Peachland Dec 28
I can’t say with certainty, but it was likely a record warm day, with temperatures ranging between 0°C and up to 10°C in town, making for a lovely day of birding. We recorded a total of 63 species (average is 65) and a total of 2257 individuals (average is 3545). 
Highlights included 
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – only ever previously recorded in 2018;
  • Western Grebe – only previously seen in 2016 and 2017;
  • Ring-necked Duck – only previously seen in 2017 and 2021
  • Green-winged Teal – also only previously seen in 2018, a record year);
  • Western Screech Owl – last seen in 2020; and,
  • Canyon Wren – new to Garnet Valley Area D.
Notable misses included Spotted Towhee, Pine Siskin, Cedar Waxwing, Clark’s Nutcracker, Varied Thrush, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Northern Shrike.
Pemberton-Mt. Currie Dec 15  It was 3 C with drizzle and poor visibility. Snow depth was 4 to 10 cm. There were 46 species in total with 1267 individuals. Most of the birds seen at the Pemberton Bird Count were unremarkable except for a Yellow-headed Blackbird which was seen during count week. 25 Bald Eagles were noteworthy. 
Pender Harbour Dec 20 The 33rd annual Pender Harbour Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was held on December 20th, 2023, with 28 participants from throughout the Sunshine Coast.  The weather was close to ideal, being mostly cloudy, calm and relatively warm for the time of year.  From dawn until dusk, parties of bird enthusiasts scoured the forests, wetlands, lakes, seacoasts and urban areas, including feeders, throughout a 24-km wide circle extending from Egmont to Middlepoint.  They counted every species and individual they could find as part of an Americas-wide citizen science effort, sponsored in this country by Birds Canada, to census the Winter population of birds.  The data collected are used by scientists, wildlife management agencies and NGOs to monitor and detect changes in numbers.

This year’s Pender Harbour CBC yielded 8,950 birds of 72 species.  For perspective, the 33-year averages are 7,075 individuals and 79 species, which indicates that whereas there were lots of birds, species diversity was quite low.  The high number can mostly be attributed to unusually large counts of three waterbirds in particular; numbers of Surf Scoter (3,294) and Barrow’s Goldeneye (1,176) were the second highest ever for both species, and there were 900 Bonaparte’s Gull.  Several other waterbirds also had higher than average counts, including 149 Common Merganser (highest), 51 Red-breasted Merganser (3rd highest), 171 Western Grebe (4th, and highest since 1996), 191 Common Murre (2nd), 171 Pacific Loon (3rd), 64 Common Loon (4th), and 12 Lesser Scaup (4th).
The main reason for the low diversity in the count is likely due to the scarcity of terrestrial birds, despite what appeared to be good conditions for counting.  Three species that have been spotted in all 32 previous CBCs were not seen this year: Ruffed Grouse, Red-tailed Hawk and American Dipper.  Other species with low or even exceptionally low numbers were Steller’s Jay, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Dark-eyed Junco, American Robin (1), Varied Thrush (6) and Pine Siskin (5).
Seven additional species, all terrestrial birds, that were missed during the December 20th Count Day, were reported during Count Week – the three days before and three days after Count Day, for a grand total of 79 species.  This Count Week total is just below the average of 80 species.  There were no species that were new to the Pender Harbour CBC, so the running total number of species accumulated over 33 years remains at 139.
There were also no special highlights this year.  Honourable mentions would include the high counts of several waterbird species noted above, as well as the third-ever record of Black-capped Chickadee.  All records of this latter species have come in the last five years, indicating that it is spreading northwards as Pender Harbour becomes more urbanized.  Anna’s Hummingbird and Eurasian Collared-dove are two other species that have expanded into the Pender Harbour area in the last couple of decades and are now regulars on the Christmas Bird Count.
Thank you to everyone who came out for the count, as well as to people who contributed additional Count Week species!  Special thanks to Bryce Christie and Russell Cameron for very generously providing their boats on the water routes.  And thank you to Cindy Prescott for hosting the after-count wrap-up on Zoom!
I hope to see you again at the 2024 CBC along with those who were unable to make it this year.
John Field, Compiler
Pender Islands (incl. Mayne & Saturna) Dec 16
Penticton Dec 17 There were 42 observers in 19 to 21 parties, 137 party-hours, 631 party-kilometres. Temperatures were 1 to 4 C with no snow below 800 m elevation. There was a south wind all day, mostly cloudy with some sun. Species total was 84 with 18727 total. Highlights included 2 Greater White-fronted Geese.

Pitt Meadows Dec 30 89 species were counted with 21303 individual birds. There were 43 counters, including 10 counters at feeders. Temperatures were 7 to 10 C. It was cloudy with a bit of rain. We were at the lower end of our normal species count have a high count a few years ago of 108 species.  There were no rare birds and no high numbers except we had 24 Coopers Hawks and 70 Brown Creepers.
Port Alberni Dec 30
Port Clements Dec 14
Powell River Dec 16 We had a total of 18 birders going out in all the areas of our little birding circle (except for Texada). In total there were 6 groups looking for birds from Sliamon point all the way to Thunder Bay. It was a good day to look for birds weatherwise; not windy, no rain, no freezing temperatures… All groups together birded for almost 30 hours and a total of 57 km was walked looking for our feathered friends.
At the end of the day we counted a total of 5776 birds and a total of 87 different species. The notable mentions for the day: a Western Gull in area 4; a Northern Shrike in area 5 and a Hutton’s Vireo in area 1. **for reference: the average (based on 20 years CBC) is around 80 bird species and a total of 6250 birds.
Many thanks to all of you who were involved.
I will continue to refine the numbers (think: adding feeder watch results and Count week birds) and submit them to Birds Canada, once ready. Iwan Van Veen
Prince George Dec 17 The 56th annual Prince George Christmas Bird Count took place on Sunday, December 17, 2023. A record number of 46 field participants in 18 groups scoured the count circle and 17 feeder watchers kept a close eye on their feeders for birds. Thankfully, conditions were much better than last year when the temperature was -24C and the bitter cold north wind won’t soon be forgotten. This year, the skies were grey and some areas had fog but it was a balmy -1 or -2C for a lot of the day. There wasn’t much snow on the ground and still water and ponds were frozen, but the rivers and the slough were open. Birds were spread out and birders had to work to find them. A good descriptor of this is that 10 groups reported Mallards. A lot of the feeder watchers complained that they had fewer birds than usual.45 species were found which is lower than the 20 year average of 47. It became evident over the next few weeks though that a lot of birds were missed. Rough-legged Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Steller’s Jay, and American Robin were missed on count day, but seen during count week. A lot of birders were out birding on New Year’s Day to get an early start on their 2024 year list and turned up Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, Northern Pintail, Killdeer, and Rusty Blackbird that were totally missed, but were likely present, on count day.There weren’t many notable finds. After being absent last year, it was good to see some grosbeaks and Common Redpolls. There were a lot of woodpeckers seen, including a record number of Downy Woodpeckers. House Finch and American Goldfinch numbers remain high. Despite the warm weather, not many migrants lingered. A Purple Finch, a White-throated Sparrow and a Varied Thrush were noteworthy.The biggest difference from last year’s count was the change in Bohemian Waxwing numbers. 8212 were seen last year. Flocks this year were small and only 322 birds were seen. The drought affected the berry crop and the bears ate a lot of the fruit in town. It would be hard for 8000+ waxwings to find enough to eat here this year.
Princeton Dec 16 We had 37 Species for count day with 725 individual birds and one for count week. Our highlight bird was the White-crowned Sparrow. We had 10 field observers and 4 feeder watchers.
Revelstoke Dec 16 The Revelstoke CBC saw 8 volunteers brave the light snow then rain. 33 species were seen. Down from last year. Don Manson
Rivers Inlet Mouth
Rose Spit Dec 18
Rossland-Warfield Dec 17 It was -5 to -2 and cloudy. Ponds were partly open and creeks open. There were 23 field observers and 19 feeder observers, 11 parties: 37 km on foot, 4 km snowshoeing and 3 km of skiing. First sighting for White-breasted Nuthatch. For the second year there were very low numbers of Pine Siskins (2). No Bohemian Waxwings were seen probably due to a lack of Mountain Ash Berries.
Salmon Arm Dec 1

In stark contrast to the bitterly cold conditions last year, our annual Salmon Arm Christmas Bird Count on December 17th saw mild temperatures along with an abundance of birds – 6,751 to be exact!

On count day, 32 volunteers of all levels of birding experience spent an enjoyable time in the outdoors as they tallied 71 species. Another 11 species were seen on “count week” (three days before and after the actual count day).

Not surprisingly, Black-capped Chickadees topped the list as the most frequently observed bird ob- served by the field teams and the feeder watchers. Canada Goose was the most abundant species (1,691) followed by Mallards (1,044). Open water on Gardom Lake and the snow-free grassy areas along the shore- line of Shuswap Lake and in farm fields, made the Salmon Arm count area a very attractive place for many species of waterfowl. In fact, waterfowl counted for just over 51% of all birds seen this year.

In contrast, the numbers of birds featuring diets of winter berries dropped drastically from the 2022 count. As we’ve all observed, the Mountain Ash berry crop is almost non-existent compared to last year. Amongst the berry-eating specialists we counted only 1 American Robin (107 in 2022) and 25 Bohemian Waxwings (534 in 2022) and 0 Varied Thrush (253 in 2022).

Saltspring Island North Dec 17 Weather conditions were partly sunny and warm at 6 to 8 C. There were 202 counters, including 42 feeder watchers and 99 counting parties including 39 feeder watcher parties. 99 species were seen with a total count of 15673 individuals. Unusual birds included 1 Sooty Grouse, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, 2 Common Murre, 3 Pine Grosbeaks, 3 Marsh Wrens, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, and 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow.
Shuswap Lake P.P. Dec 16

The North Shuswap Christmas Bird count was conducted on a rainy Dec 16th day this year which was the 52nd year of the count in this area.

There were 15 participants who covered the 12 km radius count area centered on Scotch Creek Provincial Park. Observations were made along roads, lakeshore, river banks and trails by foot and vehicle on the count day. 50 different bird species were observed with a total count of 993 individual birds. The two species with the highest counts were Mallards at 129 individuals, and Black Capped Chickadees at 118. The rarest bird sightings was a Sharp Shinned Hawk and 2 Herring Gulls which are rarely observed on the North Shuswap Christmas Bird count. Another notable sighting was 71 Bald Eagles. Bird numbers and species were lower than normal this year likely due to the forest fire which devastated much of the bird habitat on the North Shuswap.

Sidney-South Saltspring Dec 17
Skidegate Inlet Dec 16
Slocan Lake  Dec 29 The highlight was a yellow-rumped warbler that came to the same feeder many days in a row and was seen clearly by a seasoned birder so the ID is confirmed. On count day we found 344 individual birds (32 species) and on count week an additional 29 individual birds (3 more species) for a total of 373 birds (35 species). Our totals for count day + count week: Canada Goose (2), Trumpeter Swan (8), Mallard (6), Common Goldeneye (2), Bufflehead (6), Hooded Merganser (5), Ruffed Grouse (2), Horned Grebe (9), Western Grebe (1), Bald Eagle (3), Great-horned Owl (2), Downy Woodpecker (7), Northern Flicker (15), Pileated Woodpecker (4), Steller’s Jay (32), American Crow (10), Common Raven (17), Black-capped Chickadee (80+), Chestnut-backed Chickadee (47), Red-breasted Nuthatch (38), Brown Creeper (6), Pacific Wren (1), American Dipper (11), Golden-crowned Kinglet (19+), American Robin (1), Varied Thrush (1), Song Sparrow (11), Pine Siskin (2), Dark-eyed Junco (3), American Goldfinch (2), Evening Grosbeak (11), Pine Grosbeak (3), European Starling (2), Yellow-rumped Warbler (1), Green-winged Teal (3). Our numbers were significantly down and it would be interesting to see if that was the case generally. – Anne Champagne
Smithers Dec 27

Unseasonably mild weather conditions leading up to, and during, the Christmas Bird Count meant 51 different species were observed. There was a great turnout of 47 birders in the field as well as 3 watching feeders only. The day started out slow due to freezing fog and falling snow which made it hard to see the birds until late morning, but the final number of birds is in line with the usual total (almost 4000).

Special species were 2 American Goldfinches, a species that seems to be slowly moving into the valley. All four species of chickadees and the sighting of 2 species of ptarmigan means we may get special mention again. Last year we were one of only two counts in North America that counted any ptarmigan at all. 2 Pacific Wrens were seen trying to hide from observers. They are listed as rare for here.

It was exciting to see a juvenile Northern Goshawk hunting Brewer’s Blackbirds as well as a single American Kestrel at the same farm where we have seen one in past years. The presence of open, moving water meant several duck species were observed. One of each of the White throated, White-crowned, and American Tree sparrows forgot to go south and were hanging out at feeders.

Much lower numbers of finches than usual were observed. A large flock of Bohemian waxwings was touring mountain-ash and crab-apple trees in town and some big flocks of evening grosbeaks were seen gobbling up black-oil sunflower seeds at feeders around the valley.

Thanks to all who participated to make it a good count.

Soda Creek
Sooke Dec 27
Squamish Dec 16
Stuix-Tweedsmuir Dec 21
It was a chilly and blustery day with drizzle, rain, mist and gusty winds to conceal the many birds hiding out in the forest. 11 participants recorded 19 species and 82 birds on Count Day (Interesting to see how many more species were seen on other days, even during Count Week.)
Birds seen or heard in the Stuie-Tweedsmuir Circle:
Common Goldeneye 1
Barrows Goldeneye 2
Common Merganser 3
Ruffed Grouse 2
Bald Eagle 15
Belted Kingfisher 2
Pileaed Woodpecker 1
Stellers Jay 1
NW Crow 2
Common Raven 4
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Chestnut backed Chickadee 6
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Pacific Wren 1
American Dipper 13
Golden-crowned Kinglet 17
Varied Thrush 2
Pine Grosbeak 1
Pine Siskin 5
Plus 8 more species during Count Week – Trumpeter Swan, Mallard, Buffledhead, Hooded Merganser, Barred Owl, Pygmy Owl, Downy Woodpecker, Brown Creeper.
Sunshine Coast Dec 16 The weather co-operated & realistically, could hardly be improved for a mid-winter count. SC CBC counters are accustomed to wind & rain, so the warm (8C) temperatures, calm conditions, and bright/cloudy skies were extremely welcome. The tides were problematic with high water in daylight hours. There were 32 participants in 10 parties plus feeder-watchers. The Count Day total of 91 species is within our normal count range of 90-100 species. Last year we recorded 89 species + 5 Count Week species.

Highlights: The all-time Count Day species total over the previous 44 counts, 1979-2022, is an impressive 172 species. No new species were added this year.

Best species recorded were Wood Duck (previously recorded on only 4 of 44 counts) and Golden Eagle  (5 of 44 counts). Golden Eagle is an SC rarity but was a stakeout at the Sechelt Landfill & present for a few days. Other notable sp were Gadwall, Shoveler, Virginia Rail (2), Coot (2) & Ring-billed Gull.

Lowlights: Purple Finch was missed for only the second time in 45 counts. Hermit Thrush was also missed. White-winged Scoter has been recorded on all of the previous 45 counts, but only a single bird was found this year. Great Blue Heron continued at its recent low level. Woodpeckers were found in low numbers (which is not unusual, but always surprising to me given our local habitat).

Terrace Dec 30 We got 49 species. The most unusual was 4 Double-crested Cormorants seen at the lake.
Tlell Dec 29
Trail-Beaver Valley
Tumbler Ridge Dec 23 We had 13 participants, a local record, with 337 birds and 19 species, including 4 Downy Woodpeckers and 1 American Three-toed Woodpecker. This is a good total for a Tumbler Ridge CBC.

We also had a reported accipiter sighting near Tepee Falls. The photo was sent out for opinions and received a number from expert birders. Opinion was divided equally between sharp-shinned hawk and northern goshawk, with a northern harrier added to the mix (a fine suggestion as this bird is a great mimic when seen in flight overhead). The expert opinions were all made on good grounds, and were tempered with ‘but cannot be certain’. Observer report was of a small raptor, the size of a sharp-shinned hawk (something that cannot be judged on the photos), so we are going with that. When I submit the count I will report the uncertainty and will attach the photo, which will hopefully enable the report to be accepted or rejected.
The absence of snow buntings and redpolls is unusual. There was a possible junco sighting (and it has been recorded on previous counts), but as it was not conclusive we cannot count it. We also recorded no owls despite some dedicated listening under starry skies with a big moon and no wind.
Vancouver Dec 16
Vaseux Lake Dec 23

Mild, clear and calm, -3 to +3C. Almost all lakes and ponds open, no snow in valley, up to 10 cm at 1200 m. 29 observers in 10 to 14 parties, 75 party-hours. Second lowest effort (after last year) since 1996, with 83 total count and 7043 total. Species count below average (30-year average is 90). Highlights included 1 Snow Goose, 2 Cackling Geese, 1 Harlequin Duck, 1 Ruddy Duck, and 12 Bewick’s Wrens.

Vernon Dec 17
Victoria Dec 16

With the exceptional weather forecast—no precipitation, low winds—the participants were greatly anticipating the count. Our best highlight was participation with 300 field participants, 70+ participants in the Christmas Bird Count for Kids (held the same date and results incorporated into our final results) and about 40 feederwatchers, so more than 400 in total!

Unfortunately, many groups had to deal with dense fog. Surprisingly, the fog was onshore, so both boats (provided by Ben van Drimmelen and Prince of Whales and driver George Hamilton) were able to get out on the water.

The count total is 83999 birds of 143 species, which is great considering the dense fog that blanketed much of the area. The number of individuals will drop as we take out repeats, but the species number should remain.

Highlight birds included: Pygmy Nuthatch (first record for the Victoria CBC, and first year they’ve been recorded in Victoria since 1983), White-breasted Nuthatch, Gray Catbird, Barn Swallow, Short-billed Dowitcher, Band-tailed Pigeon, Rock Sandpiper, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Townsend’s Solitaire.

We eBird our count, so individual lists and the “Trip report” can be seen here: https://ebird.org/tripreport/178089

Wells & Bowron Lakes Dec 2
It was an unusual count this year with all open water and above-freezing temperatures.  Also, we had a record number of human participants with 14 of us out and about and 6 feeders being watched.  Collectively, we matched our largest number of bird species seen in 2020 at 26 species.2   Brown Creeper
1    Golden-Crowned Kinglet
1    Cassin’s Finch
36 Black-Capped Chickadee
9   Boreal Chickadee
5   Mountain Chickadee
6   Chestnut-Backed Chickadee
5   Chickadee sp.
1   White-Throated Sparrow
20 Red-Breasted Nuthatch
31  White Wing Crossbill
10  Red Crossbill
66 Pine Grossbeak
10  Grey Jay
77  Steller’s Jay
7    American Crow
29 Common Raven
5    Downy Woodpecker
2    Hairy Woodpecker
1    Three-Toed Woodpecker
20 Ruffed Grouse
1    Belted Kingfisher
1    Bald Eagle
1    American Dipper
12  Common Mallard
3    Common Goldeneye
19  Trumpeter Swan
26 Total Species 381 Total BirdsAlso in count week, we saw Greater Scaup and Common Mergansers.  The Greater Scaup and Cassin’s Finch were first sightings for our count circle.
Whistler Dec 14
19 people were in the field including 4 skiers in the Alpine and 1 nocturnal fielder that did not find, hear or observe any owls.
All fielders noted low numbers of birds (except corvids) but we managed to maintain an average number of species.
Only 1 new species to add to our list, one harlequin duck was seen in count week (never before recorded on our CBC). Everyone was shocked that NO Pine Siskins were seen!
White Rock-Surrey-Langley Dec 28 We had 121 species this year, which was an increase from 2021 (112) and 2022 (114).
This year we had 89 participants. Which is also an increase in comparison to past years (78 in 2021 and 79 in 2022).Our highlight was the sighting of a Brown Booby (sadly without a picture) offshore of Peace Arch Park on a buoy.
The other “rare” bird was an Olympic Gull.
Other than that, there were no real highlights. We were happy about four species of owls picked up during the survey.
Williams Lake Dec 17
Yalakom Valley Dec 30 There were 30 species reported with 244 individuals counted. 19 participants, including 4 feeder counters were involved. It was 1 to 5 C, still water was partly frozen with open moving water. It was partly cloudy with light rain.
Yoho National Park Dec 16

Updated Jan 10, 2024

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