Blog

Northern Shrike

Great weather so far for the Thanksgiving weekend and a good crowd at Reifel this afternoon. The only thing of note from the morning walk were a couple of Northern Shrike along the west dyke. I started my afternoon off along the outside to check for shorebirds and the shrikes.

Killdeer
Killdeer

This lone Killdeer was the only shorebird that was cooperating for photos.

Then about half way along the west dyke I could hear a couple of Northern Shrike. They were creating quite the racket,

Northern Shrike
Northern Shrike

… with one eventually coming to roost in a tree over the trail. While I heard one the other week in Boundary Bay, this is the first Northern Shrike I have seen and photographed this fall.

To finish the afternoon off,

Pheasant
Pheasant

… this Pheasant made a brief appearance at the side of the trail.

Snipe + Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

There was a good number of visitors when I arrived at Reifel to help out on the trails today. The weather was pleasant, albeit a little on the windy side. To start the afternoon off I headed to the west fields to check for shorebirds with a fellow birder. On the way there we were seeing all the usual species in the southwest field. About half way along the west field we noticed some Pectoral Sandpipers and on closer examination a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. It was a little far off for decent pictures at this point and while watching it,

Wilson's Snipe
Wilson’s Snipe

… a couple of Wilson’s Snipe flew in. A pleasant surprise for the afternoon.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

The Sharp-tailed eventually moved in closer to the dyke,

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

… and provided some great viewing and photo opportunities.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

This makes two Sharp-tailed Sandpipers I have seen now in as many weeks. The last being in Boundary Bay and one has also been observed at Iona.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Not having been getting out as much as I used to, I headed out to Boundary Bay this afternoon. It was mixed sun and cloud and the tide was out when starting my walk along the mud flats. Not seeing much initially,

Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher

… I did come across a small group of Long-billed Dowitchers that were quite cooperative.

Baird's Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper

There were a few Baird’s Sandpiper present as well. Then things started to pick up,

Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper

… with hundreds of Pectoral Sandpipers arriving. With all of the Pectoral Sandpiper present, the search was then on for a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. A Northern Harrier kept hampering these efforts hunting along the dyke and flushing the shorebirds.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

My patience was eventually rewarded when I found this lone Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.