Saturday, 18 February 2012

Very Watery BC Waterbird Count...

Harling Point
The official BC Coastal Waterbird Survey count date was last Sunday, but given that the high tide was around 5.45am on that day, I thought I'd do the count this weekend when the tide was at least up during daylight hours.
As it happens, I shouldn't have bothered. Cold, near horizontal rain and gusty winds were the primary features of the count as I staggered soggily around the coast late morning.
Visibility was reasonably decent despite the precipitation, but birds were just really thin on the ground. Or water.
Very small numbers of loons, grebes and just 2 pigeon guillemots were seen along with the usual buffleheads, harlequin ducks and a couple of long-tailed ducks. Surf scoters were present in smaller numbers than is often the case and even the bulk of gulls seemed to be elsewhere. A lone white-winged scoter came by.
Highlights included a group of 14 surfbirds near McMicking Point, doing what surfbirds do best, clinging onto wave battered rocks (a further 5 were at Harling Point). Most unusually, I didn't see a single turnstone or oystercatcher anywhere.
Three small flocks of brant were seen passing by offshore; 19, 11 and 8.
The rain just about stopped as I completed my count. Of course.

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