Tuesday 13 September 2016

The Art of Disguise

 Sept 9 2016 Boundary Bay Delta BC Sunny  21c

In one of my earliest blogs I recalled a visit to Boundary Bay. I was just starting to bird and didn't have a clue about what I was supposed to be looking for. I had been told that there were plenty of birds to photograph. Armed with my camera and a cheap pair of bins I searched for the slightest movement. Apart from a few sparrows, sea gulls and a few eagles I didn't see a thing.

A few days ago with thousands of hours of birding under my belt I went out to the very same location. As I looked out at the bay there were very few birds to be seen and even those were too far away and hard to ID. Instead of leaving I sat on the foreshore and waited. At first there seemed to be very little activity but slowly and surely I began to spot some movement. Not more than fifteen metres in front of me and  perhaps quiet oblivious of my presence were several pectoral and Baird's sandpipers. They had been hunkered down due to the presense of a peregrine falcon on a hunting expedition. The danger having passed the birds began to feed again and then and only then did the foreshore give up its secrets. Soon I was joined by a flock of American pipits and some least sandpipers took the place of the pectorals. I had let the birds come to me rather than the other way around.

The Art of Disguise.

Hard to spot at first, a pair of pectoral sandpipers feeding on the forshore of Boundary Bay are all but invisble to the untrained eye.

Keeping a lookout.

       A pectoral sandpiper watches as a pergrine falcon flies overhead.

Danger over

Once the danger has passed the pectoral continues to feed before continuing on its epic migration.

Soon several species of the sandpipers materialized from what at first appeared nothing but baked seaweed strewn muddy bay.

Bairds's sandpiper.

Some other birds on their way south.
Least Sandpiper.
Baird's Sandpiper
In my next adventure I'm off to to Vancouver to visit Queen Elizabeth Park, the City of Vancouver's highest point and an old quarry site. During the spring and autumn warblers and other passerines stop off on their migration and you never know quite what you'll find among the resident species either.

"It's never too late to start birding"
John Gordon 
BC Canada

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