Rock Sandpiper Time!

For Ilya's birthday present I promised I would take him to Sechel to see the Rock Sandpipers and shorebirds. We were so busy so didn't get there until months after his birthday but sure glad we made it.We have always wanted to get good shots of Rock Sandpipers and it is hard to do anywhere but we tried our luck in a more reliable spot. Rock Sandpipers rarely come into the Vancouver area but are sometimes seen at Klootchman and Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver. I met up with Arnold Skei who was birding the area and we went on his property to bird. We birded and had a delicious fish and chips lunch in Gibsons and then went back when the tide was low and like a miracle it was full of shorebirds.

Arnold screamed to us from his property that he had a Rock Sandpiper we got to him but at that time he had lost it and it had flown across the channel. We walked around as it was too deep to cross and were greeted by Surfbirds, Black Turnstones and Black Oystercatchers. There was no sign of the Rock Sandpiper but we knew he must be around. We looked at the Black and Surf Scoters, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Harlequins, Common and Barrow's Goldeneyes and Bald Eagles while we waited. Well we didn't have to wait too long... soon enough the lone Rock Sandpiper flew in. He was fearless and walked right in front of our faces. It was so painful lying on the rocks full of barnacles but we were scared to move as we were surrounded by shorebirds and didn't want to flush them. Shorebirds need to eat and rest during their long migration so it is imperative they are not flushed if at all possible. It wasn't long before a Juvenile Bald Eagle flew in and flushed all the birds. He landed nearby and we were able to sit up and readjust our painful bodies thanks to the eagle.

It was a great day on the beautiful sunny Sunshine Coast!

Rock Sandpiper in Sechelt - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Bald Eagle in Sechelt - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Surfbirds in Sechelt - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Black Turnstone in Sechelt - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Black Oystercatcher in Sechelt - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Large Raft of Black and Surf Scoters (this photo was taken the year prior) - Photo: Melissa Hafting


  1. stellar shot of the rock sandpiper mel


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