Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Change of Scenery

Jenny's sister Chrissie arrived in BC last weekend, with her partner Andy and their two boys Louie and Laurie.
As they were having a week on the mainland before coming over to the island, we went over to join them for a camping trip to Squamish - a place we hadn't been to for several years.
I didn't get much birding in, but we had a great time exploring Alice Lake, Shannon Falls and ascending the impressive Stawamus Chief (pictured).

The only birds worth mentioning include a food-carrying Swainson's thrush, a warbling vireo feeding fledged young, and a lone cackling goose (pictured) that was being decidedly picked on by the local Canada geese at Alice Lake.
It was fully winged and could fly, so what on earth it was doing here in August I have no idea...
Incidentally, the ferry journey each way was utterly unremarkable, birds-wise.

Panama Flats Falls Flat

This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours trawling around the increasingly waterless Panama Flats.
As far as shorebirds were concerned, there were only 20 least sandpiper, 7 western sandpiper and a single greater yellowlegs present on the diminishing pools when I arrived. However, 5 green-winged teal had dropped in.
A check of the muddy creeks only added 3 more least sandpipers, a single killdeer and 2 spotted sandpiper.

Canada Dry... an increasingly waterless Panama Flats
As I returned to the 'pools' a group of 8 western sandpiper flew in, soon joined by a further 58, bringing the total to 73.
Just goes to show that anything could drop in at any time of the day!
Mind you, without any rain forecast I suspect it might be a while before we have much to see down there.
But, as I say, you just never know...
To get an idea of how much the water levels have dropped, just compare the pic here with the one in the post below - taken from roughly the same spot last week.

On my way home I made a short detour to Clover Point. A couple of red-necked phalarope were bobbing around offshore as were the usual murres and auklets, plus a marbled murrelet.       

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