I went out today looking for a suitable hike for our grade 6&7 classes. I tried to find Serpentine Lake to no avail....but I did find some logging roads and explored for a few hours....just past the Sowuqia River on the Coquihalla Hwy. I found this very birdy spot where I got 2 lifers It was near the base of the mountain, where tons of deciduous trees and some running water. I had a good view of the treetops and found within a few minutes, Western Tanager, Townsend's Warbler, Orange crowned Warbler, Black throated grey warbler (lifer), and a HERMIT WARBLER:) I unfortunately couldn't get a pic, but I did get very good views through the binos. Not sure if anyone wants to check out the spot. From the Coquihalla, drive just past the Sowuqia River and there will be signs for Carolin Mine Road exit. Drive past the first sign, and just before the second sign should be a dirt road with a yellow gate on the right. Turn right, drive down this dirt road, go straight, and maybe 1-2 km down I placed a huge stick standing up in a pile of rocks. Look at the treetops to the right.
Wow, John, sounds like a very birdy area and great sightings! A note with the Hermit Warbler is that they regularly hybridize with Townsend's Warbler. Most hybrids tend to come out looking more like Hermit's than Townsend's. (Maybe Hermit top-half, Townsend's bottom half is the best way to explain). Even a hybrid would be rare to see in British Columbia, so regardless you have a RARE bird!
Too bad you didn't get a picture. It would be VERY interesting to pic apart the details! Great sighting, great record! Let me emphasize that a pure Hermit Warbler is certainly possible, I was just wondering if you considered the other possibility. Certainly not trying to throw water on the fire!! Keep these sightings coming!!!
John, great stuff! Ive figured we're long overdue for a Hermit Warbler considering they come up into northern Washington. I thought the Chilliwack River Valley would produce one soon, and actually went as far as to think that John would actually be the one to spot one given his hiking prowess into the habitat they like. Dave is right, pesky hybrids are not unusual but either one would be exciting. If you got a clear yellow face, lots of yellow on the crown, limited streaking on the flanks and a sharp cut off on the black bib on the chin against white, things are promising! Certainly no reason at all a pure bird would not be found.
Hope someone gets a chance for a look. Possibly the bird could be on territory. John, was it singing? Below is a Google map of the area. Looks to be about 15 minutes out of Hope.
I did read in Sibley's that there are hybrids with Townsend's warbler. I didn't get the best looks at the body as it was in behind some leaves, but the head was very clear and what struck me the most was that the yellow on the face was completely unmarked. He wasn't singing when I saw him, just foraging for food.