Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Shorebirding:

Least Sandpiper

Semipalmated Plover


Western Sandpiper

Summer shorebirding on the east coast of Vancouver Island is a frustrating game. There are rarely large numbers present, the diversity can be somewhat low, and it can be downright impossible to find something other than a Killdeer or Black Oystercatcher outside of the two hours a day either side of the high tide. There is though, just enough chance of a rarity being out there in that flock of Least Sandpipers, to keep a person searching. And if one does not search really hard and put in the hours, you will never find them. Besides, I love shorebiridng more than any other birding I do here, and even if all I end up seeing are a few small flocks of Least and Western Sandpipers, I still have fun. Thus, I find myself continually drawn back to the estuaries along the east coast of Vancouver Island, standing in the blazing sun for hours at a time, squinting into the heat haze at a distant single peep, waiting for the tide to bring in more birds. This weekend was much of the same. I birded the Englishman River Estuary at the high tide on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, and enjoyed it immensely, but in terms of startling discoveries or massive numbers of birds, it was a bit thin. It is though, always exciting when the tide seeps slowly forward, and the muddy flats near the end of San Malo Crescent in Parksville become smaller and smaller, and more and more peeps appear out of nowhere. Note to self for next time; Remember sunscreen!

Shorebirds recorded at the Englishman River estuary and adjacent marine areas on 21/22 August 2011:

Black-bellied Plover: 21/19

Semipalmated Plover: 10/7

Killdeer: 26/31

Black Oystercatcher: 8/10

Greater Yellowlegs: 1/3

Spotted Sandpiper: 3/4

Black Turnstone: 59/11

Sanderling: 1/0

Semipalmated Sandpiper: 1/1

Western Sandpiper: 52/63

Least Sandpiper: 70/71

Baird's Sandpiper: 1/0

Short-billed Dowitcher: 1/0

Red-necked Phalarope: 18/0


Dead 'N' Berryed said...

Still no 'speckled Tallywhackers' up there? C'mon Abu!

Abu Anka said...

No sir. That information is only available as a pay service on a different website.....