The rain this morning likely a contributing factor to the smaller crowd at Reifel this afternoon. Fortunately the showers stopped just before I arrived. The target bird for today being a Black Phoebe that was reported the middle of last week.
My first pass along the east dyke trail where it has been seen the last few days met with negative results. While continuing to look for the Phoebe,
… there were some Solitary Sandpipers in the slough adjacent to the trail,
… and a Brown Creeper along the trail to keep me occupied and entertained.
After a little more walking and talking to a couple of other birders who had just seen it, I decided to stay put at that spot as it had also been seen frequenting this area in the morning.
It was not too long before the Black Phoebe returned and provided good viewing and photo opportunities.
I was soon joined by other birders and photographers looking for the bird. The Black Phoebe is a rare visitor here, with the BC Bird Alert site indicating that this bird is the 27th record for the province. It has been several years since I last saw and photographed one, so this was a good day.
On arriving to help out at Reifel this afternoon there was not a large crowd of visitors, but that is normal for this time of year. The highlight from yesterday was some Marbled Godwits that had shown up and that I was hoping would return today.
Initially I walked the inner trails waiting until later in the afternoon to check the outside when the tide would start to come in and push the shorebirds into the ponds. When I did eventually head out to the west field, there was not much going on. It was not until closer to 4 pm that things finally started to happen.
Eight Marbled Godwit flew in together.
Seeing one or two is usually a treat, but eight at one time is pretty uncommon around here.
There was also a Wilson’s Phalarope among the birds showing up.
At first it was resting in a clump of grass,
… but eventually got up and started foraging for food.
In addition to the Godwits and Phalarope there were also Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher, Short-billed Dowitcher, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper and Western Sandpiper. A pretty good variety for this time of year.