Gulls perch on logs at Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file photo)

Three types of rare gulls spotted in Esquimalt Lagoon this summer

‘The thing about gulls this time of year is they’re all about the food’

At least three rare gulls were spotted in the Esquimalt Lagoon this summer.

Ann Nightingale, a volunteer with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory, said a Lesser Black-backed Gull, normally seen in the east, a Franklin’s gull and seven Sabine’s gulls – usually seen over open ocean– were all spotted at Esquimalt Lagoon.

“The thing about gulls this time of year is they’re all about the food, breeding season is over and they will be where the food is,” she said.

Nightingale explains that while some parts of Greater Victoria may be seeing a decline in the number of gulls, some areas have seen “literally thousands and thousands of gulls,” such as the Esquimalt Lagoon.

READ ALSO: Birders flocking to Greater Victoria after rare warbler sighting

“There are certain types of birders who like nothing better than to sit among thousands of gulls and go through them one by one,” said Nightingale. “I’m the type that runs out after someone else has found a rare gull and try to relocate it.”

Nightingale tried to find the three rare gulls at Esquimalt Lagoon but had no luck. She also tried to find another rare bird that was spotted in up Island this year. Mark Wyjan spotted an adult red-legged kittiwake on Sept. 27 on the shore at Deep Bay, near Bowser – only the second confirmed sighting of this type of gull in the province.

READ ALSO: Victoria Christmas Bird Count tallies highest numbers since 2006

“I didn’t get anywhere close to the kittiwake,” she said. “It was only there for 10 to 15 minutes and I was three hours away.”

According to Nightingale, there’s a category in birding called listing, which involves keeping a list of all the birds you’ve seen either by year or by place. The project eBird Canada, described as a “citizen science project,” documents bird sightings around the world, along with posting photos and sounds of the birds.

According to eBird, Esquimalt Lagoon is a hot spot for birding with almost 250 species being spotted there year-round.

“Seeing a bird you’ve never seen before – we call those lifers because it’s the first time you’ve seen it in your life and people do run out to see those,” she said.

The most common type of gull spotted in Greater Victoria is called the glaucous-winged gull, a large stocky bird with frosty gray wingtips that are only slightly darker than it’s back colour.

As more birds are migrating at this time of year, Nightingale said it’s a good time to get into birding and recommends checking out Esquimalt Lagoon and the surrounding area, along with Uplands Park of Clover Point.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

birds

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bruce McLean, 91, has published his first novel, The Manana Treehouse, which is inspired by his wife’s experience with Alzheimer’s. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
91-year-old Saanich man publishes first novel based on wife’s Alzheimer’s experience

Former journalist Bruce McLean ‘on cloud nine’ after making fiction debut

View Royal Coun. John Rogers stands next to an unearthed home heating oil tank. As a way to prevent environmental disasters, he is lobbying for a provincial registration system and mandatory inspection for all above-ground tanks, as well as a requirement to remove any underground tanks not used for a prescribed period of time. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Efforts to regulate Greater Victoria home heating oil tanks continues

View Royal councillor part of movement to identify old tanks, prevent catastrophic leaks

Residents enjoy the annual Halloween Trick or Treat on Oak Bay Avenue. (Robert Harwood Photo)
Oak Bay to host series of Winter Markets

No Halloween, Christmas events in Oak Bay Village

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Drive up voting is popular with Victoria-Swan Lake voters at the Craigflower elementary polling station. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Drive up voting popular at Craigflower polling station in Victoria-Swan Lake

Nearly 13,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Victoria-Swan Lake riding

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read