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.
The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper was busy foraging on the far side of the pond and was keeping close to the edge.
It finally came a little more out in to the open for bath time.
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.
My last photos of a Hudsonian Godwit in the sanctuary are from the spring of 2018.
So having this bird here today as well was definitely a nice bonus.
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.
There was a good number of visitors when I arrived at Reifel to help out on the trails today. The weather was pleasant, albeit a little on the windy side. To start the afternoon off I headed to the west fields to check for shorebirds with a fellow birder. On the way there we were seeing all the usual species in the southwest field. About half way along the west field we noticed some Pectoral Sandpipers and on closer examination a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. It was a little far off for decent pictures at this point and while watching it,
… a couple of Wilson’s Snipe flew in. A pleasant surprise for the afternoon.
The Sharp-tailed eventually moved in closer to the dyke,
… and provided some great viewing and photo opportunities.
This makes two Sharp-tailed Sandpipers I have seen now in as many weeks. The last being in Boundary Bay and one has also been observed at Iona.
Not having been getting out as much as I used to, I headed out to Boundary Bay this afternoon. It was mixed sun and cloud and the tide was out when starting my walk along the mud flats. Not seeing much initially,
… I did come across a small group of Long-billed Dowitchers that were quite cooperative.
There were a few Baird’s Sandpiper present as well. Then things started to pick up,
… with hundreds of Pectoral Sandpipers arriving. With all of the Pectoral Sandpiper present, the search was then on for a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. A Northern Harrier kept hampering these efforts hunting along the dyke and flushing the shorebirds.
My patience was eventually rewarded when I found this lone Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.