COURTLAND BLIND

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Courtland Blind Information & Fees


After many years of enjoying bird photography at my private blind, I have decided that it is time to open it up to other photographers. The following outlines a bit about the blind setup, fees, booking and other general information.

 

Directions

Address is 1456 Courtland Ave, Victoria BC, Canada. Courtland Ave is a short dead end road off Interurban Road. At the end of the road is a gravel driveway on the right. There is a sign in the ground with the address 1456 on it. The blind is on your left soon after you turn into the driveway. Please stop down below by the blind to drop off your gear, and then have one person park up top by the barn and walk back down to the blind via the driveway. If there is only one vehicle it is okay (actually preferred) to park at the bottom of the driveway. Please make sure to park off to the side so there is enough room for us to get out in our car.

 

Rules & Information

  1. Absolutely NO collecting of perches on the property. Please bring a selection of perches with you. In some cases I may be able to help out with this.

  2. Bird feed is very expensive. A specified amount of bird feed will be provided, but it is recommended that you bring more of your own feed in case the supplied feed runs out. I feed Black Oil Sunflower Seed, White Millet, Flatted Oats, Cracked Corn & Peanut Butter Suet.

  3. There are no amenities (water, bathroom, heating, etc.) near the blind, so factor that into your time here. There is a small plaza about 1 km away that has a few places to eat at. There are also washrooms there.

  4. A couple of tripods will be provided for perch holders, but if more than two are needed, then please bring your own.

  5. You are welcome to bring any of your own (home made or otherwise) perch holders with you.

  6. Most often I will be available to provide guidance and assistance, but it is in no way guaranteed that I can, or will, always be here.

  7. Only one party at a time can book a spot. Once a time is booked, I will not book another party for that same time period, even if the original party is only one person. This way you are guaranteed to have your own time at the blind without having to worry about conflicts with others.

  8. The maximum number of people that can book one time slot is FIVE.

  9. Items that I typically have with me for photography setups are: Small hand clippers, bird feed, duct tape, electricians tape, twist ties, tripods for perches, low ground perch pegs, etc.

  10. Even though it is not usually that cold here in the winter (typically 2C to 8C), sitting in a dark blind for hours on end can get downright chilly. Be sure to dress for the occasion. Best to dress in layers and have gloves and warm waterproof shoes/boots.

  11. Victoria gets tons of rain, so the ground gets very saturated through the winter. Constant walking around the setup area turns the ground into mud. I ask that you keep the number of people and times walking around out there to a minimum. Also, please no walking behind the feeder or setup area. That area is your background, which will be ruined for everybody if it is turned into mud.

  12. Like most feeder setups, the birds here are hunted by Sharp-shinned Hawks, Coopers Hawks and Merlins. If you are experiencing long periods of no birds, 99% of the time it is a hawk nearby. In these instances, it is best to have one person get out of the blind and walk around the area to try and flush the hawk to move on.

  13. The blind is setup to accomodate the use of a bean bag. So if you have a bean bag, it is recommended that you bring it with you. I actually prefer to use a bean bag in the blind, but either a bean bag or a tripod can be used.

 

Fees

  1. The fee for using the blinds is $100 per day for one person, $150 per day for two people, $200 per day for three people and $250 per day for four or more people.

  2. Fee prices are in Canadian dollars.

  3. Cash is the only accepted form of payment.

 

Booking

I typically stop feeding around mid June and don't start up again until October. Prime time would be December to June, depending upon your target species. Most people like to combine shooting here with a day or two at Esquimalt Lagoon for waterfowl. Prime time for waterfowl at the lagoon is December to mid March. You can contact me to book via email or phone (email is best). By email use this contact link   CONTACT    By phone = 250-220-0606.

 

Bird Possibilities

This list and ratings are based on chances to photograph the species at my blind only and not for the Greater Victoria area, and represents species that have visited my feeding stations over the years.  A sample gallery of birds photographed at my blind can be viewed at this link:  COURTLAND BLIND BIRDS

 

C = Common (should get better than 75% of the time in the right season)

LC = Less Common (should get about 25% to 60% of the time)

R = Rare (would be lucky to get but is possible)


  • California Quail - C (year round)

  • Ring-necked Pheasant LC - (Nov to Apr)

  • Steller's Jay - C & R (some years abundant, other years non-existent Oct to Mar)

  • Golden-crowned Sparrow - C (Oct to Apr)

  • Fox Sparrow C (Oct to Apr)

  • Spotted Towhee C (Oct to May)

  • Song Sparrow LC (Oct to May)

  • White-crowned Sparrow LC (Oct to Apr)

  • House Sparrow C (abundant and VERY annoying)

  • Lincoln's Sparrow R (Nov to Mar)

  • White-throated Sparrow - R (Nov to Mar)

  • American Goldfinch LC (Mar to June)

  • House Finch C (year round)

  • Purple Finch LC (Mar to May)

  • Red Crossbill R (Mar to May)

  • Pine Siskin LC (very erratic some years abundant, other year non-existent - Nov to Mar)

  • Evening Grosbeak R (not likely but could show up unexpected anytime)

  • Dark-eyed Junco C (Oct to Mar)

  • Common Bushtit R (Oct to May)

  • Red-breasted Nuthatch C (Nov to Mar)

  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee C (Oct to Apr)

  • Eurasian Collared Dove C (year round)

  • Band-tailed Pigeon C (even though it is common at the right time, this is a very skittish species. I would give it a 50/50 chance - (Apr to June)

  • Mourning Dove - R

  • Black-headed Grosbeak LC (Apr to June)

  • Bewick's Wren LC (year round)

  • Brown-headed Cowbird C (April to June)

  • Brewer's Blackbird LC (Mar to June)

  • Red-winged Blackbird C (Dec to Mar)

  • Rusty Blackbird - R (one record Dec)

  • Downy Woodpecker C (year round)

  • Northern Flicker C (year round)

  • Hairy Woodpecker LC (year round)

  • Pileated Woodpecker R (year round)

  • Red-breasted Sapsucker R (year round)