Birding On The Courtenay Estuary, Vancouver Island. Part 1

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Please enjoy this short, birding photo essay. All photos were taking along the Courtenay Estuary, (East Coast, Vancouver Island, Canada). The photos were taken during the summer and autumn seasons. I used a Nikon 71000 paired with the Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 to capture these images. 

Birding On the Courtenay Estuary

I managed to find a piece of accommodation alongside the Courtenay estuary, towards the town of Comox, Vancouver Island. It was a complete gamble and I really had no intention of staying for long. However that morning I went for a walk with my camera along the shoreline and came across my first ever Bald Eagle. This picture here is the reason why a quick visit to Courtenay/Comox turned into a total 4 month stay. It also fueled a birding obsession. 

I would soon find out, that the estuary was no stranger to Eagles.

In fact, the estuary was echoing in high pitch calls

Are There Any Other Birds On The Estuary Besides Eagles?

Yes of course, the Belted Kingfisher was a highlight and a nemesis of sorts. With their high clacking call and uncontrollable fluttering movements, they can be extremely hard to photograph (in my opinion). I was luckily enough to capture this guy just after a fresh catch. 

I want to talk about the Great Blue Heron in an entire separate post. However these lanky, yet elegant birds quickly became one of my favourites.

As with the Heron, the Turkey Vulture also became one of my favourites. Often referred to as being ugly, I found their feathers to have remarkable detail and colour, what can not be understated as well is the role these birds play in the overall ecosystem. I found this one while on the water, in a kayak, just off the Courtenay air park shoreline. 

And of course, Canadian Geese 

Now it wouldn’t be a shoreline if there weren’t any Gulls 

A Savannah Sparrow. People I came across couldn’t help but laugh, when I mentioned I was out looking for these little critters. However I thought they were quite striking.

Finally a Bonaparte’s Gull flying rapidly across the shoreline 

This concludes part one of my Courtenay Estuary, photo essay. I will be posting part 2 shortly and updating my collection actively. 


Thank you for viewing my birding essay on the Courtenay Estuary.If you have any comments or questions  please leave them below. I appreciate all feedback. 


If you would like to see more Vancouver Island wildlife, please click on the photo below.


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  1. Maulik January 17, 2018 at 11:22 am #

    Nice post
    I like your pictures
    all the best

    • Troywoodwildlife January 17, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

      Hey!, thank you so much. Really appreciate it , I will check out your page too 🙂

  2. Jill January 18, 2018 at 2:20 am #

    I am not a bird person but your photos could easily change my mind. These are beautiful captures from the texture of the wings to the details and the angles, you seem to even capture some expressions as well. wonderful work!

    • Troywoodwildlife January 18, 2018 at 6:06 am #

      Hi Jill, thanks so much, that means a lot. I’ll be posting more in the future plus updating my galleries as well, if you are interested. Thanks again, i’ll be sure to check out your content 🙂

  3. riyasownspace January 31, 2018 at 4:30 am #

    Belted kingfisher was the highlight. Love your shots..

    • Troywoodwildlife January 31, 2018 at 4:32 am #

      Thanks so much, yea I can’t remember how much time I spent trying to capture a Belted Kingfisher, they certainly don’t like staying still.

      • riyasownspace January 31, 2018 at 4:37 am #

        Yeah. I have had hard times clicking stork billed kingfisher as well. Yet to get a better shot 😋

        • Troywoodwildlife January 31, 2018 at 4:38 am #

          keep on trying haha, I look forward to seeing the photos in the future

          • riyasownspace January 31, 2018 at 4:38 am #

            Yeah. A small birding encounter post is on its way 🙂