I found a Rock Sandpiper Today!

Just when I thought the birding was really slow here. I went down to Point Roberts with Ilya and we found a Rock Sandpiper at Lighthouse Marine Park. I bird Point Roberts a lot  as it's one of my fave places to bird. I have never seen a Rock Sandpiper there despite my friends Kevin  Louth and  Ken Klimko and others finding them there. Point Roberts, although located in WA is still under the Metro Vancouver County checklist as per Nature Vancouver. It is in Whatcom County as per eBird though.

It was a new bird for the point for me. Ilya and I watched it with Ken and Kathy for over an hour and then it flew towards the marina. At the marina we quickly found it again with a flock of Black Turnstones and watched it for another hour before they flew away just before sunset.

Hopefully it sticks around for a few days for other birders to see. It was a very confiding bird too. Point Roberts has had some confiding rare shorebirds like Curlew Sandpiper, American Golden-Plover and Rock Sandpiper just to name a few. I am glad I took this off my Point Roberts most wanted list. The next one I want to find in Point Roberts is a Yellow-billed Loon since I missed the last one Kevin Louth found there.

A rare Rock Sandpiper in Point Roberts, WA - Photos: Melissa Hafting


  1. What a lovely set of pictures in the last golden rays of light. Congrats on the rock sandpiper making your Pt. Roberts list!

    1. thanks shou. point roberts sure is a special place glad you came down with me last weekend

  2. I just discovered your blog and I'm liking this type of "thinking outside the box" Birding! Interestingly, the only time I've seen rock sandpipers in BC was from a kayak, on an island (discovery I.). I have also seen them on an extremely long breakwater in ocean city, Wa. I've also seen Purple Sandpipers almost exclusively on islands (aside from a flyby) both in Ontario and in Scotland. So both species seem to prefer islands or at the very least super long jetties.

    1. yes totally agree with you. they like jetties and this one ended up on a rock jetty in point roberts. funny enough I have seen a purple sandpiper (bc's first) on trial island which is right near where you saw your rock sandpiper on discovery island. thanks for your kind comments and glad you are enjoying the blog. especially during this crazy coronavirus times, the best thing to do is to get out alone and bird.


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