Scoter scopes

Members of the Cowichan Valley Naturalists do some long-range viewing at the Qualicum Beach waterfront.

Members of the Cowichan Valley Naturalists scoped out the Qualicum Beach waterfront Saturday as part of a bird watching field trip.

Members of the Cowichan Valley Naturalists scoped out the Qualicum Beach waterfront Saturday as part of a bird watching field trip.

Looking out over the water at Qualicum Beach Saturday, you could see the occasional bird on the water, black shapes floating here and there.

You might think there’s a few, or if you took a moment to count, a fair few, but that appearance is deceiving, says Bob Nation.

Along with colleagues from the Cowichan Valley Naturalists, Nation had his powerful telescope at the Qualicum Beach waterfront Saturday and with its help, he was able to see that while they may have been spread out, there were an awful lot of birds on the water. You just needed the gear to see them.

“We’re especially here to see the scoters, but also birds generally,” he said. “Parksville and Qualicum Beach are pretty good for viewing. Sometimes there are thousands and thousands. Today they are sort of far out, but if you look through the telescope, there are more and more and more birds out there, as far as you can see, loons and different kinds of ducks, all scattered about.”

Part of the attraction to bird watching in Qualicum Beach, Nation said, is the easy access to great viewing sites, several of them right along the highway.

“It’s a feature,” he said. “It’s convenient to see the birds. We might go up as far as Deep Bay, which is another interesting place for birds, and we may go to Rathtrevor and a few other spots.”

 

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