Sharp-tailed + Hudsonian

Before the birding news, it should be noted that today marks the first ‘National Day for Truth and Reconciliation’.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
“The NCTR is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honoured and kept safe for future generations.”

Every Child Matters
Every Child Matters

Orange Shirt Day and Orange Shirt Society.

After not being able to locate the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper a few days ago, I was pleasantly surprised to get a message today that one was present at the rear of the house pond at Reifel. So I packed up my gear and headed straight out there.

On arriving at the rear of the house pond there was more good news, a Hudsonian Godwit was also here.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper was busy foraging on the far side of the pond and was keeping close to the edge.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

It finally came a little more out in to the open for bath time.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Then lifted off back to the far side of the pond again. It eventually left the pond and was seen flying west toward the outer ponds or foreshore area.

While Sharp-tailed Sandpiper are usually seen every year in the sanctuary (and Lower Mainland area), the Hudsonian Godwit is a less frequent visitor.

Hudsonian Godwit
Hudsonian Godwit

My last photos of a Hudsonian Godwit in the sanctuary are from the spring of 2018.

Hudsonian Godwit
Hudsonian Godwit

So having this bird here today as well was definitely a nice bonus.

Hudsonian Godwit
Hudsonian Godwit

While initially busy and moving around, the Hudsonian Godwit took some time out to preen and then it was nap time. The timing was good as we could hear some thunder in the distance and the rain was about to start again.

Great Horned Owl

The hope for today was to relocate a couple of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper that had been spotted yesterday in the house pond at Reifel. Despite lots of walking and checking of likely spots they could be multiple times, I could not find them.

The afternoon was not a total loss, however,

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

as this Great Horned Owl provided a great photo op and viewing.

More Black-necked Stilt

The good news on arriving to help out on the trails today at Reifel was that the Black-necked Stilt was still around and at the rear of the house pond. Needless to say that was my first stop.

Black-necked Stilt
Black-necked Stilt

Apparently the Stilt had been following some Northern Shovelers in the pond earlier in the day, perhaps checking out what they were stirring up.

Black-necked Stilt
Black-necked Stilt

While the ducks were still around, while I was watching it hung around with the Greater Yellowlegs or would wander off on its own.

Black-necked Stilt
Black-necked Stilt

While preening off and on, the bird also provided a couple of chances to get shots like this.

Black-necked Stilt
Black-necked Stilt

The nice thing about this location in the sanctuary is that you are at the same level as the bird for a more natural perspective. The lighting and reflected colors on this particular pond can also enhance your photo opportunities. Being a little closer to your subject doesn’t hurt either.