Thursday 4 June 2015

Various Locations 'Little Big Year' Part 10

American Pelicans.

May 24 2015 Riverton Sandy Bar IBA, Gimli and Matlock.

Breeding Herring Gulls at Sandy Bar. The colony comprises 3% of the world's population.

Herring Gull on nest.
This is a follow-up of the last blog, the 16 hour day one. I had forgotten we fitted two days into one so here are a few more afternoon images from that wonderful day. As previously mentioned we had one hell of a morning at Warner Rd and again in the evening with the Upland Sandpipers and American Woodcocks.
That left a little matter of an afternoon walk out to Riverton Sandy Bar IBA. MB109. It was sunny and warm as we made our 2 km walk out to the tip but as we were halfway out a fierce wind came up and it began to rain. Sand was flying everywhere and I had to put my camera away. I was a little worried we were going to get soaked but my companions Donna and Ray plodded on. We eventually reached the colony by which time the rain had ended. The wind dried us off

We were guided out by local bird expert Donna Martin who has experience at monitoring the gulls so no harm was done and the gulls barely left their nests and if they did were back as soon as we moved away.
We did approach the colony slowly as we were trying to make out which shore birds were congregated at the tip of the spit. See picture below.

A few shorebirds including Red Knot, Black-bellied Plover and Dunlin. There was a Ruddy Turnstone among the group until it flew away.

Here's one with two turnstones.
A distant shot with the Ruddy Turnstones.

We left Sandy Bar and headed toward a marsh area where Donna spotted an American Bittern prowling beside the rushes. At first I had trouble to see it but eventually it moved and we were able to watch it catch several fish.

American Bittern
As we watched the bittern a Palm Warbler landed just by the car window close enough almost for a full frame shot with the Tamron 150mm-600mm. The soft afternoon sun helped make this a pleasing image to end the afternoon.

It had been quite an afternoon, two days in one really, sixteen hours of birding and some great memories, new friendships made and new experiences to store away for those long cold winter nights.
Tomorrow Charlie, Ray and I are going out into Netley Marsh, Charlie has something to show us.

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
BC Canada

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