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Birding at Boundary Bay - September 3 2012

Posted by birder on Tuesday, September 4, 2012
At 8:30 on September 3 2012, I arrived at the foot of 104th street at Boundary Bay. It was just 25 minutes past high tide, and there were sandpipers all over the place. Only around 2 minutes after I arrived though, a falcon arrived at the scene. As soon as the falcon was spotted, all the shorebirds took off. The falcon separated one sandpiper from the flock, but it did not catch it. 






 After watching this, I went out onto the mudflats. There were many American Wigeons and some Black-bellied Plovers, but I did not approach them because they are much more shy then some other shorebirds and there would be a risk of flushing them.


  I continued on walking, and saw many shorebirds flying by, as well as more resting on the ground in the distance. The once resting were all Western Sandpipers and Black-bellied Plovers. I kept my distance from these birds, but I did get close enough to get some OK shots of Black-bellied Plovers. 




 After watching this flock for a while, I continued the walk on the mudflats. I saw some more shorebird flocks. One flock when I spotted it was quite close to me, so I started taking some photos. I got closer. The flock had Western Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers. I soon was quite close to the birds, and I took some good shots, but all of the sudden I heard a zoom and the falcon I had seen earlier was diving at this flock. The falcon was very close to the flock before the birds and I noticed, and the falcon caught a shorebird and flew off to eat it. It was over very fast but was all very amazing! Here are some photos of the shorebirds in that flock and the falcon:





 I continued walking, and arrived at the pilings between 104th street and 96th street. Here, no shorebirds were present, but when I got up to the dike, after a few minutes a flock of Pectoral Sandpipers flew by and two Lesser Yellowlegs came to rest. On the dike, I spoke some birders. I was told that 4 Buff-breasted Sandpipers and some Horned Larks had been seen on the farms that you see from the dyke between 96th and 104th streets. I was also informed that the Ruff the had been hanging in the area for a couple days was still present, and that an Evening Grosbeak was hanging at the 104th street parking lot. I walked in the direction of 104th street on the dyke, and some distant Killdeer and some Savannah Sparrows. Here is a photo of a Savannah Sparrow by the dyke:


 When I was almost at the 104th street parking lot, I stopped because I had spotted some Yellow Warblers, but as I took photos of Yellow Warblers, some Cedar Waxwings arrived along with some Common Yellowthroats. Now something else caught my eye. It was the Evening Grosbeak! I took some photos of this lifer. Here are two shots of a Yellow Warbler, a shot of a Cedar Waxwing, and a shot of the Evening Grosbeak from this spot:






  I now headed to the mansion between 88th and 96th street where I looked for the Ruff. I didn't see the Ruff, but there were 3 birds of prey in the area. One Cooper's Hawk, one Peregrine Falcon, and one Northern Harrier. The Peregrine caught a sandpiper and the harrier tried to steal the falcons catch, but the falcon was the one who ended up eating the catch.




Here are some photos of other birds I saw at Boundary Bay on September the 3rd:

   Great Blue Heron:

 Caspian Tern:

  Overall, it was a good day at Boundary Bay, and I got 1 life list addition, the Evening Grosbeak.




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