Monday, December 26, 2011

Shorebirds At Moorecroft

Although Moorecroft Regional Park has about 1200 meters of rocky shoreline habitat, and is located in the vicinity of the Winchelsea Islands, a well known site for "rock-pipers", we have found it to be nothing but disapointing since we began our stint as caretakers here, at least until today. Up until this point, we had only seen very distant flocks of "rock-pipers" flying between the Winchelsea Islands, and a few Black Oystercatchers flying by a few times. A single Black Oystercatcher was the only shorebird that ever spent any time on shore here.
Today, while walking down to Jinglepot Bay, we heard the distinctive call of Black Turnstones. Arriving at the shore, we found the small rocks in the bay which are exposed by the falling tide, to be alive with Black Turnstones. It took awhile to count them, as many seemed to prefer to hide on the far side of the rocks, but we eventually counted 53 of them. A great number considering that the total count recorded on this years Nanoose Christmas Bird Count, was 1! With them, were 4 Surfbirds, and the same Black Oystercatcher that we have been seeing for the past month.
Having done some survey work in the Winchelseas over the past 10 years, I know that there are much larger flocks of "rock-pipers" out there, and likely a few Rock Sandpipers mixed in with them. Will we ever see them here in Moorecroft though? Only time will tell.

No comments: