Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
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 Post subject: Shorebird Primer
PostPosted: Sep 04 1:50 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
The Shorebird migration is now winding up, but there are still new species arriving and many lingering migrants. What follows are many images taken during the past couple of months of various Shorebirds found locally.

Firstly, two Whimbrel foraging at Crescent Beach.

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Another species which breeds locally is the Spotted Sandpiper. This one from Iona.

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Then, taken earlier in the year, a shot of a Dunlin. They are just starting to return in strength, but minus the black stomach.

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Lots of Black-bellied Plovers at Boundary Bay currently, but most are without their black bellies like this one displays.

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One of the largest Shorebirds is the Long-billed Curlew. One has been spending most of the year at Blackie Spit, often foraging in the open early in the morning before people bring their dogs.

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There have been many Baird's Sandpipers at Boundary Bay this Summer. They are long-distance migrants and besides having black legs, their wings are long with the primary feathers sticking out farther than with other Shorebirds.

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A very common Shorebird at Boundary Bay and Reifel and other locations is the Western Sandpiper. Black legs, longish bill with some orange on its back and/or head. Later, the orange will disappear, but some will stay the Winter in farmers' fields.

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Most Semipalmated Plovers have already passed through the Lower Mainland. The laggards are mostly juveniles. In this photo two juveniles are squabbling about something.

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Perhaps the most common Shorebird currently at Boundary Bay is the Least Sandpiper. Small, with yellow legs.

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Usually found in small groups, the Short-billed Dowitcher is currently common in the Lower Mainland and some stay all Winter at locations like Burnaby Lake.

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The Semipalmated Sandpiper is more common on the East Coast. Here they are most often seen with Western Sandpipers. Dark legs, short and straight bill. Little colour.

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A medium-sized relatively uncommon Shorebird in the Lower Mainland is the Solitary Sandpiper. Usually seen alone. Has a noticeable eye-ring. Legs less yellow than those of a Yellowlegs.

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Another relatively uncommon Shorebird seen locally is the Stilt Sandpiper. Longish legs with a down-curved bill. Wades in deeper water than do the smaller Shorebirds (Peeps).

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Wilson's Phalaropes are also passing through the area now. Seen on freshwater ponds like Iona. This one from Reifel. Smaller than one might expect.

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Another uncommon migrant is the Ruddy Turnstone. Although Black Turnstones over Winter in the Lower Mainland, Ruddys don't. Most migrate on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Very distant photo at Boundary Bay.

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A few Red Knots are also passing through. These are without breeding colours, but are plain black and white and gray. They hang with the large Black-bellied Plovers. Medium length straight bill.

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Another uncommon visitor is the Hudsonian Godwit. This juvenile also hangs with the Black-bellied Plovers. An aggressive bird. I watched it take runs at the Plovers.

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Another uncommon Godwit seen at Boundary Bay is the Bar-tailed Godwit. Larger than the Hudsonian and much more wary of people. Like all Godwits, it sports a very long straight bill.

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Sorry if there are any repeats in this post. Too many images to search through. There are other Shorebirds about. Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, for example. Black Turnstones and Black Oystercatchers. Golden Plovers et al.

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MikeDB
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdbug3/


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 Post subject: Re: Shorebird Primer
PostPosted: Sep 04 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Jul 05 5:35 pm
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Great photos, and extremely helpful for those of us still figuring it all out. Thanks for posting! I'm going to bookmark your post.

I didn't even know migration would have started so soon ... I've been biking around Boundary Bay now and then last couple months but haven't seen too many birds at all really.

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Tracie
Langley, BC
(Started birding in June, 2015)


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 Post subject: Re: Shorebird Primer
PostPosted: Sep 10 6:32 pm 
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Such an awesome post. Incredibly useful.

Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Shorebird Primer
PostPosted: Sep 11 8:07 am 
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Joined: Apr 30 6:06 pm
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So helpful. This is what the forum should be. Much as we would like, we don't all have an eye for the tiny details or the stamina for an enormous field guide! Much appreciated, and great photos. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Shorebird Primer
PostPosted: Sep 13 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Aug 05 12:03 pm
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Location: north shore
Good to see your work again Mike!

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Paul Kusmin
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Digital (photo) Life List:
292 birds B.C. / 446 birds N.A. / 916 birds World (including NA)


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 Post subject: Re: Shorebird Primer
PostPosted: Sep 15 7:19 pm 
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Great series of photos and good info. Thanks so much for sharing. Cheers.

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Neal Doan, Abbotsford, B.C.
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 Post subject: Re: Shorebird Primer
PostPosted: Sep 15 7:57 pm 
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What a great post,thanks.


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