Monday, 29 August 2011

Coastal Birding

Black turnstone
Given the overnight winds and rather breezy conditions this morning, I headed off for an early start at Clover Point.
The place was almost deserted, people-wise (that's a first!) and I was able to sift through the roosting gulls at relative leisure. Other than 9 Heermann's gulls, it was just a large swathe of glaucous-winged and Californias present.
Offshore, it was surprisingly quiet with just a few distant common murres, rhino auklets and pigeon guillemots on view.

Black-bellied plover
Feeding on the kelp covered rocks, as yet un-harassed by dogs and families, were 3 black turnsone and a single black-bellied plover (both pictured).

As the seawatching didn't seem to be up to much, I left after an hour or so and decided to check out Oak Bay Marina. With the tide being low, the large plover roost on the rocky island was much diminished and I could only see 30 or so black-bellied from the marina.

Black oystercatcher
Checking the beach area just to the south of the marina, I came across 13 killdeer, 3 western sandpiper and 3 greater yellowlegs feeding along the shoreline. Several black oystercatcher were also present (pictured).

A belted kingfisher was rattling around, and an osprey flew overhead.

Hooded merganser
A few hooded merganser were paddling around the area (pictured). 
Noticing a sizeable collection of gulls bathing in the creek mouth, I continued round to Bowker rocks.
Scanning through the assembled larids, I came across an adult ring-billed gull snoozing on the beach (pictured), surrounded by several mew gulls

Ring-billed gull
Another 3 greater yellowlegs were feeding in the small pools and a single pintail was dabbling in the creek. 
I then popped along to Cattle Point, where the only thing of note was the sighting of a group of 5 river otters fishing close inshore. 

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