After a couple of weeks of being busy, I managed to get back out to Boundary Bay this afternoon. Arriving about two hours prior to the high tide I made my way west along the beach from 104 St. After several minutes and encountering only a lone Pectoral Sandpiper roosting in the seaweed at the high water mark, I was starting to wonder if much else would be around. Then I did see around a dozen American Pipits working their way along the beach. Then I came across a small group of resting Least Sandpipers, but carried on towards the pilings. While approaching them a Greater Yellowlegs flew in and started foraging for food. I carried on a little further and scanned ahead and could not see anything else on the tidal flats, so I made my way back to the pilings and the Greater Yellowlegs.
It was still busing foraging for food,
… and provided a couple of good photo opportunities. By this time the tide was coming in fast, even though the high tide was still over an hour away. Not too far off I could see the Least Sandpipers were active and made my way back to them.
Like me they were trying to avoid the rising water levels. After being flushed briefly by a passing Northern Harrier they returned and landed right in front of me. They were more than cooperative allowing me to tag along and photograph in close proximity.
Close is good when photographing these little guys. Being there when they returned and keeping any movement slow and to a minimum probably helped. By now the rising tide was almost to the top of my rubber boots and it was time to head up on to the dyke. Despite there not being much around, I still managed a couple of nice shots.
While the afternoon at Reifel started off overcast with the odd light shower, the weather did improve slightly. While fairly quiet on the visitor front, there were a couple of interesting birds around. There is still a pair of Eastern Kingbird frequenting the trees along the island as you head out towards the west dyke.
No confirmation if they are actually nesting in the area yet though.
Meanwhile in the outside ponds on the high tide were some Dowitchers, Yellowlegs …
… and mixed in with them was this female Wilson’s Phalarope.
I managed to get it with both a Dowitcher and Greater Yellowlegs for comparison.
Then this solo shot to finish my time with it.
On my way back and while watching the Kingbirds for a little longer,
… this Dragonfly alighted on the tall grass and posed nicely for me.
To finish the day off,
… was this Spotted Sandpiper in the slough adjacent to the parking lot.
While it was quiet on the visitor front at Reifel this afternoon, there were a couple of interesting birds around. There have been a couple of Sora this week frequenting the northwest marsh across from the tower.
Fortunately for us birders and photographers,
… they have been crossing in the open when moving between patches of reeds.
Sometimes passing right below the new viewing platform on the outside dyke.
At one point the two Sora even got into a bit of spat with each other. The Sora, like the Virginia Rail, are usually fairly secretive sticking to the reeds.
Speaking of Virginia Rail, there was also one of them in the area. Unfortunately it was not quite as cooperative as the Sora had been, but fun to see both at the same time.
In between takes on the Sora, I was also watching a mixed flock of Yellowlegs.
One thing I will try for in situations like this is to get both the Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs together for comparison purposes. On the topic comparisons,
… this mixed flock of Yellowlegs also had a couple of Wilson’s Phalarope.
So the northwest pond/marsh was the place to be this afternoon.