Plovers & Pipits

The high tide was not going to be very high at all today, but I still ventured out to Boundary Bay. Early in the walk I was not turning up any shore birds at all.

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

Even the Peregrine Falcon was left to harass some of the waterfowl without success. Eventually in front of the mansion a Greater Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher and a handful of Pectoral Sandpipers showed up.

Pectoral Sandpiper & Greater Yellowlegs
Pectoral Sandpiper & Greater Yellowlegs

I did manage this shot of a Pectoral Sandpiper and Greater Yellowlegs together which is kind of interesting showing the size difference between the two species. On my way back things were not looking much brighter. On the birding front that is, it was a beautiful afternoon to be out for a walk. Then some movement out in the sand caught my eye.

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover

There was a small group of Semipalmated Plovers resting,

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover

… tucked in amongst some seaweed and other vegetation.

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover

This one was a little more out in the open,

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover

… and allowed for this shot stretching its wings while on one leg. From here I headed to the pilings. Still no shore birds, but another recent arrival was present.

American Pipit
American Pipit

Some American Pipits were busy foraging for insects. They will show up along the shore line and neighbouring fields at this time of year when migrating south.

American Pipit
American Pipit

I set up low and close to the pilings and hoped for the best. This particular bird did alight on one of the stumps not too far off. I was happy to end the walk with these shots. These slender little birds can be difficult to get at times.

Things Picking Up On The Bay

By picking up I mean in spite of the tide being out there were still good numbers and variety of birds out on Boundary Bay this afternoon. I started off along the beach from 104 St. and headed west. The target bird today was Stilt Sandpiper as several have been frequenting the area of the mansion, a large house on the dyke between 88 St. and 96 St.

Least Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper

I got side tracked briefly by some Least Sandpipers, but moved on as I had a ways to go. On reaching the area in front of the mansion there were lots of Lesser Yellowlegs. While watching this one bird foraging it caught a worm,

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs

… which wriggled free,

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs

… resulting in a startled reaction by the Lesser Yellowlegs.

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs

It then recaptured the worm, wandered off and eventually swallowed it.

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs

Then I managed this shot of a Lesser Yellowlegs snoozing in the eelgrass.

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover

Not far away from the sleepy Yellowlegs,

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover

… were some Semipalmated Plovers. Also in with the plovers,

Western Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper

… were some Western Sandpipers.

Western Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper

I continued to scan the Yellowlegs groups as the Stilt will frequently be found with them.

Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper

Then when checking one group of Yellowlegs just after I started making my way back,

Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper

… was this lone Stilt Sandpiper.

Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper

The Stilt Sandpiper also took a brief time out in the middle of the tidal pool. But the nap was short lived,

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

… as a Peregrine Falcon came in a made several passes at the flocks of shore birds. At least I managed a few shots of my target bird before everything was scattered by the falcon. As I continued my way back I noticed not everything scattered. There was a small peep that had taken cover in a clump of eelgrass.

Least Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper

Waiting a few minutes it eventually came out and I could see it was a Least Sandpiper. Not much after that for some distance,

Baird's Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper

… until I happened upon a small group of Baird’s Sandpipers. Initially startled by the sound of the shutter,

Baird's Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper

… it soon settled and carried on foraging along the beach. Then there were good numbers of Lesser Yellowlegs coming in all around me near the pilings, but the Peregrine returned and scared them off once again. The last group encountered,

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover

… was another small flock of Semipalmated Plovers. All in all, a good afternoon. With this number and variety of birds with tide out you can tell things are picking up and hopefully a  sign of good things to come.

Red-necked Stint & Others

There were a couple of interesting sightings to consider when it came time to decide where to go today. I went with the Red-necked Stint in Boundary Bay as this is a bird I have yet to see and photograph. I arrived prior to the not so high tide, but conditions along the beach were ideal for the type of bird I was hoping to see. Encouraging news from a couple of birders already there, including Kevin who initially located it, that the Red-necked Stint was present again this afternoon. Now to try and find the one amongst the hundreds of Semipalmated Plovers, Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Not having any luck from the dyke, I spent a short time out on the beach. While it was seen again by some, I was not one of them. On returning to the dyke several others birders arrived also hoping to catch a glimpse of this rare visitor. It was not long before it was located again and this time I did manage some distant views, but no photos. With all these people here to see the bird I was not about to head back out on to the beach and risk flushing it. Once everyone had good looks at the bird and were starting to leave I made my way back down to the beach. I was joined for a short while by Roger who helped in relocating the bird again, but once again no photos. After Roger left I continued on, after all there were other birds around. One first of the summer/fall,

Baird's Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper

… were some Baird’s Sandpiper. There were only a few that I saw. As noted earlier,

Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper

… there were lots of Semipalmated Sandpipers,

Least Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper

… Least Sandpipers,

Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover

… and Semipalmated Plovers. The next interesting photo opportunity,

Red-necked Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope

… a Red-necked Phalarope.

Red-necked Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope

Likely the same bird Roger had spotted while with me earlier on the beach. While photographing the Phalarope I was still watching the other sandpipers coming and going when lo and behold,

Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint

… the Red-necked Stint made an appearance.

Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint

The Red-necked Stint is a rare Asian visitor/migrant in these parts.

Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint

Needless to say this made my afternoon and a nice addition to the life photo list.