Showing posts from August, 2016

Rare Shorebirds (Ruff, Buffs and Stilts) up close and personal!

3 Rare shorebirds species  came to the Vancouver area all in the same week. First was 4 Black-necked Stilts that turned up in Burnaby Lake. Usually you only see Black-necked Stilts 5 hours away in Robert Lake in Kelowna! These  two immatures allowed for close photographs as I lay on the dock at Piper Spit on August 30th. While I was photographing them there was some commotion on one side of the dock there was a bobcat (that had mange) catching ducks and in front of me was a Black Bear tearing down nestboxes in search of eggs and nestlings. Juvenile Black-necked Stilts in Burnaby, BC - Photos: Melissa Hafting Well while I was photographing these, Roger Foxall found a provincial rarity, a juvenile male RUFF at Boundary Bay. I had no good photos of this species so I went down there ASAP. I met up with my friends John Reynolds and Mike Tabak on the dock and we sat down on the rocks and let the Ruff walk right up to us. As we sat still Semipalmated Plovers, Pectoral , Baird'

Westport Pelagic was too awesome!

Ilya and I went down to Westport for a pelagic this Sunday. We had a great time as we got to meet up with friends from WA, including good friend Blair Bernson and Daniel Field from CT while seeing great birds. I ended up getting two lifers Flesh-footed Shearwater and Short-tailed Shearwater. We were hoping for Scripp's Murrelet seen the day before but no luck. We were surprised also to have no Buller's Shearwaters. Regardless it was a sensational trip with fantastic class act spotters Bill Tweit, Scott Mills and Bill Shelmerdine. The way the spotters got on the birds so quickly and made sure everyone got on the birds was wonderful. The seas were calm and birds were close so we all got crippling views of the birds, including rarities. The numbers were insane especially the Sooty Shearwaters which you can see streaming by all day from shore without a pelagic. The Captain Phil Anderson was also fantastic making sure to slow down the boat for everything and calling things out o