Bufflehead. (Suzane Huot photo)

Bufflehead return to Greater Victoria waterways

Celebrations planned to mark the birds’ return

Nature-lovers celebrate the “fantastic little creatures” that return like clockwork to Roberts Bay sanctuary every fall. More often than not, the migratory Bufflehead alights in the waterway adjacent Sidney and North Saanich on Oct. 15.

READ ALSO: Saanich Peninsula Bufflehead Festival gets bigger for 2017

“We’re gathering on the Saturday to have a celebration. We hope a couple show up,” says Bob Peart, co-chair of the Friends of Shoal Harbour. “I’m a birder and I love the outdoors and it’s a really good way to get people interested in nature. It’s a good way to show people that nature and the outdoors is right there, even in an urban environment.”

The event also highlights the Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary, he says.

“We think the sanctuary is a really important thing for Sidney and North Saanich residents to realize is there,” Peart says. “We want people to understand how important the sanctuary is for the health of wildlife.”

Research done locally into the migratory habits of the Bufflehead, show that on the 298th day of every year — or Oct. 15 — the duck returns to Shoal Harbour in Sidney and North Saanich.

So they host the All Buffleheads Celebration Oct. 13 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. There is a welcome ceremony, MLA Adam Olsen and MP Elizabeth May will make opening remarks, at the Ardwell beach access with youth activities, street theatre, displays, spotting scopes and presentations.

Celebrations continue on Sunday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a boat tour of the Victoria Harbour and Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuaries on board 4 Ever Wild, flagship of Eagle Wing Wildlife Tours. Expert naturalists will also be on board. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and light snacks will be served and the cost is $55 per person, with limited seating.

To register or for more information, contact Rick Searle rick.searle@gmail.com or call 778-533-0266.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

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