A Blue Jay, commonly found in the Central and Eastern United States and the southeastern coast of Canada, was spotted in Sooke on Dec. 27. (Contributed – Robin Robinson)

A Blue Jay, commonly found in the Central and Eastern United States and the southeastern coast of Canada, was spotted in Sooke on Dec. 27. (Contributed – Robin Robinson)

Blue jay, usually found in southeastern Canada, spotted in Sooke

Around 80 birders counted 118 different species within a single day

A rare bird commonly found in Eastern Canada was spotted hanging around Sooke by birdwatchers in late December.

According to birder Robyn Byrne, a blue jay has been a regular at a bird feeder at the end of King Road. The bird is predominantly blue, with a white chest and a blue crest.

As the Sooke Christmas Bird Count organizer in late December, Byrne said blue jays spend most of their time between the Central and Eastern United States and parts of southeastern Canada. She was surprised to hear about the sighting.

Byrne said 118 different species were spotted within a single day during this year’s bird count, a new record for Sooke.

READ MORE: Rare bird usually found between Oregon and South America seen in Central Saanich

Last year, avid birders counted 106 species. In total, around 80 participants counted thousands of birds within a 25-kilometre circle that stretches from Otter Point Park to Metchosin Golf and Country Club.

Byrne said she woke up around 6 a.m. to hear the calls of owls at Rocky Point Bird Observatory on Dec. 27. Although the sun hadn’t risen yet, she and her husband could identify the birds by their chirps.

“I need to retire to spend more time with the birds,” chirped Byrne. “The migration trails are so interesting. I love that even a little hummingbird can fly across the country and come back to the same feeder.”

Byrne said they also sent birders out into the water with a boat past Race Rocks Lighthouse. Also, they spotted a handful more rare sightings, including a ruffed grouse in Metchosin and a western meadowlark on Whiffein Spit.

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


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BirdwatchingSooke

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

Just Posted

Seattle Mariners field coordinator Carson Vitale before a game at T-Mobile Park during the 2020 season. Vitale, who grew up in Victoria, has pledged to run 10 miles a day for 2021 and to donate 50 cents per mile to the United Way of King County. (Ben Van Houten/Seattle Mariners)
Mariners coach running 10 miles a day for United Way

Saanich-raised Carson Vitale, Seattle Mariners field coordinator, plans to run 3,650 miles in 2021

Gordon English, construction manager of the Habitat for Humanity project in North Saanich, shows off the current interior of a townhouse part of the affordable housing project. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Families set to move in to affordable housing project in North Saanich by spring

Pending completion of Habitat for Humanity project comes against backdrop of new housing report

A rainbow graces the departure of CCGS John Cabot as it leaves Victoria Jan. 7. (Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)
Follow a coast guard ship’s trip from Victoria to Halifax, through Panama Canal

Canadian Coast Guard Ship John Cabot left for St. Johns on Jan. 7

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read