Post by birder1942 on Sept 10, 2012 16:40:20 GMT -8
Just got back from a month holiday in Europe and checked the post on Sumas Prairie that Gord had. Went to see what's there and I found a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper among some six Pectorals, about three Bairds and two Least as well as the dozens of Killdeer and "oudels" of Pipits. Location: Turf farm along Campbell Road between Marion and Dixon, south side of road. John Vooys Abbotsford. Seen at 5pm.
Late this afternoon was out at that end of the valley so detoured a bit further to check on the area. Pulling up about the second bird I looked at was a juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper! It has been years since I saw one at Boundary Bay. Great bird. Ahead Damion was checking it out too, and he told me that John had phoned the store with his excellent sighting.
This is the first record ever for our checklist area. Quite exciting. This puts the official species number at 316 species for the area.
Managed some pictures. They were moving around quite a bit but offered great looks. The things to watch for that make it different from the similar Pectoral Sandpiper is the bright rufous cap which is made even more apparent by a white 'eyebrow'. The back and wings tend to be a bit brighter as well. The breast is very good to look at having a warm buffy colour with not very many streaks. One might get the impression that a Sharp-tailed comes across as a warmer bird with the buff and rufous over the greyer and cooler Pectoral.
Also saw three Baird's, two Least and six Pectoral Sandpipers among about 30 odd Killdeer. John said it best with "Oodles" of American Pipits. A very good idea of how many there are was experienced as I was leaving when a young Northern Harrier went over the straw stubble north of where the sandpipers are. The pipits got up as the harrier tried several times to pounce on one in the stubble. With the breeze, the pipits sort held their place in the sky all together and I was able to get a quick count of 210 birds. They were close enough and in really nice light that I could pan through to see if there were any other species among them. Nothing jumped out at me.
Good stuff John and nice seeing you Damion albeit shortly as I was in a little bit of a hurry to get the kids home. They, by the way, enjoyed seeing the "cool bird".
Post by birder1942 on Sept 11, 2012 9:55:23 GMT -8
Hi birders. As Gord pointed out, the STSandpiper was(is?) still around. I observed it from 9:30 till 9:45. Some farm workers were then showing up and a helicopter pilot was beginning manouvers in the area, but hopefully the bird will stick around for a while. The whole thing reminds me of something birders call the "picnic table" effect (in Arizona). A birder sees a rarity and others come to look in the area and then other rarities are found! In Arizona this happened at a picnic site, thus the name. Good birding, John Vooys, Abbotsford.
Post by 10aciousfaith on Sept 11, 2012 10:45:00 GMT -8
Hi fellow birders:
What was interesting about the STsandpiper experience was that as I was leaving work, John called me abouthis earlier finding saying I should get over there soon. I told him I saw the posting here and that I was on my way. I had a chuckle at the whole timing of things. There I did meet Gord and had a chance to view it through his scope. I thought there were at least 2 STSA??
What's cool is that on Sunday at Taylor Meadows near Garibaldi Lake I saw 2 Sooty Grouse. At least one could have been a immature male. SOGR- Lifer1. Yesterday's Sharp-tailed sandpiper-Lifer#2. Today 6:15 after dropping my brother off at the Vancouver Airport, I journeyed to Iona Island. I walked the whole pier (whatcha call it?) and stumbled across 2 groups of what I believe were 5 American Golden Plover (immatures?). I have no pictures you you to confirm that. I'm going to have another peak at Gord's recent Boundary Bay report. AGPL-Lifer#3. Three in 3 days!!! My total Life Bird count and BC Bird count is now at 221 Isn't birding fun?!?!?!?!?