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's Sandpipers did the same! Then out of nowhere a Coyote walked along the seaweed right in front of us! It was super cool. This photo was taken on the Boundary Bay Dyke between 104th and 112th St. This was my first decent photograph of a Ruff. There have been 4 sightings of Ruffs this year in the province.

Juvenile male Ruff in Delta - Photo: Melissa Hafting

There are now 4 Buff-breasted Sandpipers (BBSA) 200m East of 104th. I got to see them all tonight and they were with 2 Red Knots (1 adult in breeding and 1 juvenile). Great night at Boundary Bay, especially since these BBSAs were so tame. There has been 5 BBSAs this month in the Vancouver area!

Juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Boundary Bay - Photo: Melissa Hafting


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