Look for the blob in the tree directly in front of the man in the pale jacket setting up his camera.
For several days birders have been flocking to Westham Island to see a Northern Hawk Owl. The bird has been quite cooperative, spending most of its time hanging out in plain view at the first big left-turn corner after the long, straight drive across the island. It was not hard to find this morning--simply drive until you ran into the tripods in the middle of the road.
Northern Hawk Owls, as the name suggests, are northern birds, and are regarded as very rare winter visitants this far south. Even a keen birder, remaining at this latitude, may see only one in a lifetime. The cold spell we had a week or so back seemed to have brought a number of interesting northerners, including a number of Gyrfalcons--and other the other end of the Deadly to Cute Scale--a smattering of Snow Buntings. A good site to keep track of what is about is the BC Vancouver Birds Yahoo Group.
After carefully winding through the throng, we continued to Reifel and saw a Great Horned Owl, two Peregrines, a Cooper's Hawk and two Northern Harriers. Supposedly there was a Barred Owl about too, but we missed it. Still, a pleasingly raptory day.