Birding On The Courtenay Estuary, Vancouver Island. Part 2

Welcome back to another issue of Birding On The Courtenay Estuary.

If this is your first time visiting this website, feel free to check out Birding on the Courtenay Estuary Part One, by clicking on the Kingfisher below.

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All photos were taken along Courtenay Estuary, (East Coast, Vancouver Island, Canada). The photos were taken during the summer and autumn seasons. and were captured with a Nikon D7100 camera body paired with the Nikon 200-500mm F5.6 lens.

Birding On The Courtenay Estuary. Part 2

I had spent, roughly a month away from the Comox/Courtenay area and with it the estuary. During this time, I had met up with a fellow wildlife photographer. Together we had traveled a portion of the British Colombia West Coast, (Vancouver, Sqaumish, Whistler, Garibaldi Provincial park etc) before deciding to head over to Vancouver Island (Second time for me). Once we arrived, we decided to explore, the Northern settlements of Port McNeil and Alert Bay. As well as the West Coast settlements of Tofino and Ucluelet. After finishing our little adventure, we had to decide on where to part ways. I had no other location on my mind than the Courtenay Estuary. 

On arrival, I planned to venture to the very outskirts of the Estuary. This plan did not disappoint. Presenting my first sighting of Harlequin Ducks, I can’t help but appreciate this males, Yin Yang like, facial patterning. 

The Female, Harlequin Duck, has less extravagant colour, however I found them to be a lot easier to photograph than the males.

Although I had not been Deprived, of eagle viewing in my absence. Its just not birding on the Courtenay Estuary, without capturing a photograph or two of these birds of prey.

This, Eagle spent over ten minutes calling from its perch. 

This female Common Merganser, was not as appreciative of the eagles and for good reason. Diving any chance she felt threatened.

Exploring More Of The Courtenay Estuary

After spending a signifcant amount of time on the ourskirts of the Courtenay Estuary, I decided to head back towards the river side. There is a short walkway adjacent to the Courtenay Air Park, that follows the Courtenay river. The river can be followed right out onto the mouth of the estuary. 

I decided to spend an afternoon down in this vicinity, this Ceder Waxer making for an interesting find. 


I also became enchanted by these red winged Black Birds. 

That’s Not A Bird!

I am very well aware, that this isn’t a bird. But as it turned out, kayaking became my favourite method of exploration on the Courtenay Estuary. If you’re going to be kayaking within the summer/autumn seasons, you’ve got to be pretty unlucky not to come across one of these Harbour Seals. (I’ll be making an entire post dedicated to Seal’s in the future)

And How could I resist not posting this picture!

That Concludes another issue of Birding on the Courtenay Estuary Vancouver Island (with a few seals). I will be adding to my collection in the coming months, so stay tuned for updates. 

Please feel free to leave any comments and subscribe via email for my latest work. I am constantly uploading new photos and stories.

You can also find me on social media via Instagram and YouTube. Just look under the “social” heading below, you can also view my location specific galleries. by clicking on the thumbnails below.


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  1. Keith Haney January 29, 2018 at 12:19 pm #

    Great pics and I love the information you include along with it.

    • Troywoodwildlife January 29, 2018 at 11:29 pm #

      Hey Keith, Thanks so much for the feedback, I really enjoy trying to capture these types of stories 🙂

  2. riyasownspace January 31, 2018 at 4:32 am #

    Absolutely stunning pics

    • Troywoodwildlife January 31, 2018 at 4:33 am #

      Thank you so much 🙂 appreciate it

  3. Pierre Cenerelli February 16, 2018 at 12:21 am #

    Great photos for both parts 1 and 2! Your blog makes me think that although I’ve been out to Vancouver Island a few time, I probably should stay there longer. I just wanted to let you know that the last two birds in part 1 of this series are a Savanah Sparrow and a Bonaparte’s Gull (winter plumage).

    • Troywoodwildlife February 16, 2018 at 12:24 am #

      Oh wow, thank you so much, Yea I’v really enjoyed exploring the island, and thats really helpful, I genuinely got the sparrow wrong, but could not find any information on the species of Gull. Thanks so much !