Birders get rare treat after spotting fieldfare in Kelowna

Rare find at Munson Pond

Birders in the Okanagan are all a twitter after a fieldfare found its way to Munson Pond in Kelowna this week.

A rare bird alert was issued by the BC Rare Bird Blog after the fieldfare was spotted at Munson Pond on Jan. 10 by Jasmine Korcok.

Korcok, excited by the discovery, quickly reached out to some of her fellow bird enthusiasts.

She called her friend Chris Charlesworth, an avid birder who runs his own outdoor tour company.

"For Jasmine, and any birder, it's like winning the lottery," Charlesworth said.

"We've had three [sightings] now in B.C. it's quite rare, Canada wise, when they do show up it's normally in the Maritimes because they come over from Iceland a little more."

The bird hasn't been spotted in a few days, but Charlesworth says the sightings made for some exciting times. He's been fielding calls and emails from as far as Alberta and Washington State.

"It's very tough bird [to spot] and really, it's only been seen a few times and is not reliable, now anyway. We probably have lost track of it, like the needle in the haystack," said Charlesworth.

Fieldfare are members of the thrush family, but are native to northern Europe and western Asia and traditionally migrate south to Africa and the Middle East in the winter.

eBird describes the bird as "rather large" and "subtly attractive."

"Breeds in forested habitats, often favouring wooded areas adjacent to more open foraging grounds; in winter, found mainly in open woodland, farmland with hedges, orchards, and parkland."

Charlesworth has no idea how the bird ended up in Kelowna, so far off course, but he says there is plenty of food around for it and it may end up staying in the region.

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