Saturday 22 September 2012

American Pipits (A master of disguise)

Two "lifers" is two days make for one very happy birder. After spending the morning at Blackie Spit with the Langley Field Naturalists (see Anne's blog at bottom of page) I went to the base of 104th St on Boundary Bay in search of American Pipits. A flock of 40 were feeding on insects among the seaweed left by the receding tide. Other birds noted were Black-bellied plover, Western sandpiper, Least sandpiper and Northern harrier. What is apparent for their survival is how well camouflaged (see pic #1) Pipits are as they comb the beach for insects. The ever present Northern harrier kept the flock moving each time it would glide past making photography somewhat of a challenge. As soon as the  birds would come into range for a decent shot the silhouette of the Harrier would scatter the birds only for them to slowlymake their way back to my hiding spot. These shots were taken over a one hour period.
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American Pipit: Note the camouflage.

A better composition when perched on a stump separates the bird and background

Gaining the trust of a bird leads to a more pleasing image.

Some of the birds seen at the Blackie Spit walk.
Long-billed curlew with hermit crab at Blackie Spit

Marbled godwit and Long-billed  curlew showing bill differences
For anne's account of the day see link below

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