Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Pec' 'pipers prove positive

The tide was encouragingly high this evening when I arrived at Holden Creek but my thoughts of hordes of refuge seeking shorebirds seemed dashed.
A check along the creek revealed the usual spotted sandpipers.
A combination of recent rain, and high tidal levels, meant that the marsh was at least wet and several of the flashes contained enough water to, hopefully, attract any passing waders over the next few days. Ever the optimist...
Scanning out across the marsh I spotted a large shorebird feeding on the very furthest pool. Great. 'Scoping it, it was as expected, a greater yellowlegs. However, some smaller waders were nearby and I just couldn't get enough on them as they weaved around in the grassy edges. Unfortunately, it wasn't only distance that was against me but the sun had decided to show up for the first time all day, and was liberally blasting down and creating lovely silhouettes.

I walked out onto the marsh and eventually positioned myself at the base of one of the pilings for the electricity poles.
Through bins, at this far better range, their identity was pretty well confirmed but a 'scoping made it certain. 4 pectoral sandpipers (2 of which are pictured, with customary lack of skill, left).
Not exactly what I'd have liked them to be, but beggars, as they say, can't be choosers and it was great to watch them feeding alongside the yellowlegs. I guess they're not particularly common birds on Vancouver Island in the spring?
Otherwise, 3 killdeer, 2 ospreys, common yellowthroat and the usual stuff kept me busy.

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