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Vancouver Island boat trips

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Old Thursday 10th May 2018, 14:53   #1
Peter C.
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Vancouver Island boat trips

Hi All,

The OH and I will be on the Island for the end of May into early June. Does anybody have any gen on somebody doing pelagic trips from either Tofino, Port Hardy, or Victoria itself? The internet shows lots of whale-watching trips from various places, but these are not necessarily any good for birds.

(Oh, and I know that this question has been put here before, but those threads are quite old, I imagine the information is a bit out of date as well).

Thanks,
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Old Thursday 10th May 2018, 15:57   #2
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Years ago in August Telegraph cove appeared to produce far more birds than Tofino. However whale watching did not appear to be a particularly good way to see birds - I would be inclined to try a canoe trip next time.
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Old Saturday 12th May 2018, 08:29   #3
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Hello.
We were there two years ago, slightly later, in mid-June, which wasn't really ideal on the bird front, as migration was over. You'll probably be better off on that front, as I expect that two weeks earlier you could still catch the tail-end of the spring migration. We couldn't find any dedicated birding trips, but most boats go to Cleland Island, off the coast, which is a wildlife sanctuary, and has lots of birds too. We saw Tufted Puffin there, Pigeon Guillemots, Marbled Murrelet etc. (see our trip report above).

We used this company: Westcoast Aquatic Safaris, which has a largish boat which we thought was better for photographic gear etc. than inflatables.

We also went on a bear-watching trip inside Clayoquot Sound with a small, native-run company: http://clayoquotwild.com/index.html . We had the boat to ourselves, so we could stop wherever we wanted. We didn't see many birds on the trip though, but then we didn't know where to look.

We also hired a guide for half a day. He is a local birder-photographer and very knowledgeable. If you PM me I can give you his email and maybe telephone number if I can find it. Hope this helps! Very envious. I could go back every year if I could!

Last edited by 3Italianbirders : Saturday 12th May 2018 at 19:35.
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Old Saturday 12th May 2018, 08:35   #4
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I almost forgot. You could also get in touch with Neil Robins at the Backyard Wildbird Store in Nanaimo. They do bird walks on Sundays and Tuesdays. It's on the other side of the island of course, but it's a good place for a stopover. You can find his email/phone here: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=361131
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Old Saturday 12th May 2018, 19:21   #5
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I only remember that one should take a big vessel, since small inflatable boats are so shaky that following birds is almost impossible.
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Old Monday 14th May 2018, 19:29   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Italianbirders View Post
Hope this helps! Very envious. I could go back every year if I could!
Thanks! I will check out the link. Yes, Vancouver Island is quite an enchanting place (so long as it isn't raining ... which, let's face it, it often is...). I have traveled there a few times, but not once in the last 17 years, which is a bit of a stretch!

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Old Monday 14th May 2018, 19:30   #7
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Thanks also, occasional and Jurek!
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2018, 21:37   #8
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Tofino whale watching will run a pelagic trip on June 9th if enough people show an interest. I will go!
www.tofinowhalecentre.com/birdwatching/

Last edited by johnraven : Wednesday 16th May 2018 at 21:40.
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Old Friday 18th May 2018, 14:48   #9
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Hi johnraven:

Now, that's more like it! I somehow had not found that page before... we, unfortunately, we be flying back from B.C. before then, but I will contact them and see what I can find out.

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