After a wet and windy weekend Tuesday Apr. 11 was a pleasant morning at the beach. Partly cloudy and warm, with a cooling breeze. Eight Arrowsmith Naturalists surveyed the PQB Wildlife Management Area from 10 am to 12 noon.

Area 1 North: At the Seaside Nature Park in Qualicum Beach 7 Brant were spotted flying east. An additional 9 Brant were observed at Surfside Dr. East. At Surfside Dr. West there were 38 Brant on the sandbars towards the Little Qualicum River with 500+ gulls and ~450 dabbling ducks; mostly Mallard and Wigeon. Other highlights were a cloud of Dunlin and diving Bonaparte Gulls.

Area 2 Central: Although no Brant were found some highlights were: 2 Eurasian Wigeon and Bonaparte Gulls at French Creek. At Johnstone Road, 4 Greater Yellowlegs and ~300 Sandpiper were seen.

Area 3 South: At 10:15 the tide at Rathtrevor Park was still too high for the Brant. A few flocks flew in, circled, and left until 11 am when a flock of 600 Brant landed 250 metres offshore and 35 more finally settled on a sandbar at the beach. At Parksville Beach the tide was going out but there was 35 Brant in the shallows. One person with a dog off-leash was on the beach further away from the Brant.

A total of 724 Brant was observed Apr. 11.

Our next count will be Tuesday, Apr.18.

Jim Goodwin

Photo credit Jim Thorne