When I left my house on the morning of this day, I was not expecting most of what I would see. This was one of my favourite trips to the Creston Valley. After arriving at the valley we headed to Channel Road on the way to Duck Lake. There, we had beautiful views of a Wood Duck and other waterfowl.
When we were satisfied with our views of these birds, we continued to the south end of Duck Lake, where we spotted 16 White-faced Ibis with another birder who had arrived just before us. These were the most special birds of the day as they are rarely seen in BC.
White-faced Ibis (9 of 16)
White-faced Ibis (Blurry)
After documenting these birds we drove further along the dike where we found a Forster's Tern sitting on a dead branch on the lake. The Creston Valley is the only place in BC where this species breeds.
Just past the Tern, we stopped to check out a reliable place for shorebirds. As we started walking toward the mudflats, two gulls flew over and I identified them as Franklin's Gulls, a rarity for this area. At the mudflats we were astounded to see 23 American Avocets which are also uncommon in this area. We saw two Long-billed Dowitchers feeding on the flats as well.
After enjoying the shorebirds we went to the forested dike, where we saw many warblers and sparrows. The highlights of this stop were Vesper Sparrow, Bullock's Oriole, Northern Waterthrush and Swainson's Thrush.
The final stop of the day was at Reclamation Road near the US border, where we saw few birds except for an uncommon Long-billed Curlew.
In total we saw 78 species on this day, including many unexpected and exciting birds.