Osprey & Phalarope

It has been about three weeks since I last checked on the Osprey, so I headed out there this morning. My last couple of visits I observed mating behaviour and today I wanted to see if they were on eggs yet.

Osprey
Osprey

On arriving the female was on the nest and appeared to be incubating eggs. She always starts calling when the male is near or approaching. This is handy because,

Osprey
Osprey

… it gives you a heads up to prepare for shots like this of him arriving with a fish for her.

Osprey
Osprey

She then takes the fish and flies off to a nearby tree to eat it and he will sit on the eggs. Now the countdown to when the chicks will hatch has begun. After this I headed out to Reifel. In part to help out on the trails and there was a Ruff sighted their yesterday afternoon. The Ruff being a fairly rare shorebird to see in these parts. On making my out to the outer ponds there was no sign of the Ruff, but there were a couple of other interesting shorebirds mixed in with the Dowitchers. A Stilt Sandpiper too far off for photos,

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope

… and a Wilson’s Phalarope which did come in a little closer to the trail.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope

With Phalaropes it is the female that has the colourful plumage and dominant behaviour. This one being a female Wilson’s Phalarope.

Stilt, Wilson’s & Pectoral

After the morning showers I headed out to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. On starting down the east dyke trail I noticed several warblers. Unfortunately they were staying in the tree tops. An unidentified fly catcher also remained elusive amongst the branches. Near the end of the trail I came across half a dozen Brown Creepers.

Brown Creeper
Brown Creeper

They were working the trees on both sides of the trail. These little guys can be tough to get as they forage for insects while moving up the tree trunks.

Brown Creeper
Brown Creeper

At least with that many in the area I had a chance for a couple of shots.

After checking the inside trails and still not finding any cooperative warblers I headed to the outer ponds. I was not expecting to find much as the tide was out and there likely would not be much around. While scanning a few of the usual peeps, Dowitchers and Lesser Yellowlegs I noticed something different.

Stilt Sandpiper & Lesser Yellowlegs
Stilt Sandpiper & Lesser Yellowlegs

It was a Stilt Sandpiper.

Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper

I followed it along and waited for it to come in a little closer.

Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper

This is the first Stilt Sandpiper I have seen with this fall’s migration.

Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper

Seen every year, they are not as common as some of the other Sandpipers. While watching the Stilt, something else caught my eye,

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope

… a Wilson’s Phalarope.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope

Another good shore bird to see considering I was not expecting much here. After these pleasant surprises and a brief break I headed out to Boundary Bay. The bird I was wanting to get there were Pectoral Sandpipers.

Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper

While walking along the beach I located one small group.

Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper

They were a little wary at first,

Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper

… but I took my time moving in and they soon settled and continued foraging.

Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper

I have found that Pectoral Sandpipers are fairly approachable. And then poof,

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

… they were gone thanks to the Peregrine Falcon. It looks like the only it manage to get so far was some seaweed.

While trudging back along the beach I came across the bonus bird of the day.

Horned Lark
Horned Lark

A Horned Lark.

Horned Lark
Horned Lark

I think this is the first time I have seen one in this area of Boundary Bay.

Horned Lark
Horned Lark

A nice find to end the day, but why did it have to pick a piece of styrofoam to perch on?

Phalarope & Muskrat

The last afternoon of the May long weekend I spent volunteering and helping out on the trails at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. I was kept busy speaking with visitors and answering questions. Particularly about the Sandhill Cranes and their new arrival. The chick is still doing well and they are staying in the closed off trail area. Good views can still be had from the adjoining trail.

I did manage one distant photo of an interesting migrant.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope

This Wilson’s Phalarope was hanging around one of the inner ponds. Stopped by a few times during the course of the afternoon, but it was not moving any closer.

Muskrat
Muskrat

One other critter entertaining visitors along the inside trails,

Muskrat
Muskrat

… was this Muskrat busy foraging for and eating roots. Not much in the way of photos, but still a great day to be out and taking it all in.