contribution from the Friends of Shoal Harbour

Its no laughing matter. Another rare species has been spotted in Shoal Harbour Sanctuary, quickly attracting the attention of elite, world birders from the Mainland and the Island. It was identified as a Laughing Gull, a small noisy gull of the American East Coast in summer and the year round on the Gulf Coast  and northern South America. They very rarely venture north of southern California, and this was the first photo-documented record for the West coast of Canada. The rare and wary bird spent two days on the mudflats providing many their species of a lifetime.

This the second time that a rare species has been documented in Shoal Harbour Sanctuary. The last was a Black Phoebe, another species that is extremely rare outside its southern range. It was observed under similar weather and climatic conditions in late June, 2011, as La Niña weather took shape

Birders July 9th

Ardent birders from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island converged on Roberts Bay on Friday, July 9th, to add a rare bird to their lists.

Gull 2

Laughing Gull feeding on the Roberts Bay mudflats, part of Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary on July 7th 2016, 13:01:03 PDT. This is the first photo-documented record for Canada’s west coast. (On the eve of the centenary of the first Migratory Bird Treaty).

Gull 1

Laughing Gull, a yearling bird, taking off with the much larger Glaucous-winged Gull, one of our common local gulls.

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