Aug 29 2014 Reifel Migtatory Bird Sanctuary Delta B.CIf early August birding was somewhat slow the last few days of the month certainly made up for it. At Boundary Bay I was able to find small flock of Semipalted Sandpipers, a species I hadn't seen very often. As is often the case I spent an hour winning the trust of the birds only to have them spooked by an unleashed dog.
|Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)|
I found a small flock of Semipalmated Sandpiper mixed in with a few Western Sandpiper.
Note the shorter bill.
I only averaged of one outing a week but as August came to a close I did manage to include the Stilt Sandpipers and the Ruff or Reeve at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The Ruff was a 'Lifer' and only the second time I had seen Stilts in the Lower Mainland. I had previously seen them in Churchill, Manitoba where they were in full breeding plumage. For more on that trip see June 2013 blog.
There were also a number adult and juvenile Sora and Virginia Rail at Reifel which delighted many who had not seen the birds before. A small flock of transient Sandhill Cranes proved very popular with visitors, especially the photographers and out of town visitors.
|Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) at Reifiel|
|Sora (Porzana carolina)|
There were four rails in the West Field, two Virginia and two Sora. Adults and juveniles of both species were evident. It was a quite a treat as the shy and secretive birds showed well as they fed along the pond edges.
|Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola)|
|Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)|
The female Ruff (above) is referred to as a Reeve.
On the breeding ground the adult birds use Leks in a similar fashion the grouse family.
|Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)|
The ponds at Reifel held both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs giving the opportunity to differentiate the two species.
Although my birding was somewhat curtailed I am lucky to have seen some excellent birds as well as meeting up with some fellow birders who I haven't seen for a while. Meanwhile I hope to keep up with the blog on a more regular basis once school is back, whenever that is!
"It's never too late to start birding"