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Blackie Spit and White Rock Pier - February 2 2014

Posted by Liron on Saturday, February 8, 2014
On February 2 2014, I decided to head out to the Surrey/White Rock area. First I went to Blackie Spit. Targets here were Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Snow Bunting, and Eurasian Wigeon.

Blackie Spit is a very good spot for Eurasian Wigeons. By the end of my visit I had seen about 25 birds, and it did not take long at all to spot my first ones. I managed my best shots yet of this species:

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After getting some Eurasian Wigeon shots, I started to look for the curlew and godwits that frequent the area. It did not take long to spot the Long-billed Curlew, and I got some nice shots of it:

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A Marbled Godwit was resting not far from the Long-billed Curlew, but the problem was that it never lifted its bill to allow for better photos, so I had to settle for this:

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A second Marbled Godwit was around too, but unfortunately I was not ready for flight photos when it flew by so this is the best I got:

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I was now at the end of the spit, and I had one more bird I was hoping to see: the Snow Bunting. One has been feeding along the spit for a while, but I had not yet seen it. I decided to check the beach around the end of the spit, and I walked right into the bunting!

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A few other birders had wandered over to see what I was looking at, and soon a crowd had gathered. Everyone was well behaved however, and we watched the bunting feed at a good distance. I took a few more photos, these ones a little more distant:

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While watching the Snow Bunting, this Common Loon surfaced very close to the beach and stayed up for a long time, allowing for lots of photos:

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That wrapped up Blackie Spit, and while walking back I ran into two very good birders, Russell Cannings and Ryan Johnston. Russell did a big year (trying to see as many species as possible in a year) in BC in 2010 and finished with 373 species, which put him in 1st place for BC big years. Ryan Johnston did a big year in 2013 and finished with 363 species, putting making him tied with Mike Toochin for the #2 spot of all time for BC big years. It was great running into them! After a quick chat, I continued walking to the parking lot and headed to the White Rock Pier for some more birding.

It was pretty quiet at the pier, but the usual Surf Scoters were diving around the pier providing some nice photos:

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There were also some Common Loons, Buffleheads, Horned Grebes, distant White-winged Scoters and a couple Greater Scaup, including this one:

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I now exited the pier and walked along the beach. Lots of Glaucous-winged Gulls, Mew Gulls, and Glaucous-winged Gull hybrids were around. Both of these guys had found some food to eat:

Glaucous-winged Gull with what appears to be a starfish
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Juvenile gull (likely Glaucous-winged or a hybrid)
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Like I said many Mew Gulls were around too, including this one:

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This Greater Yellowlegs was present on the beach as well. They are here year round and can be found in the winter in small numbers.

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I also saw six Killdeer on the beach and I stopped to take some photos of them. I set up on the beach, and this bird came closer and closer to me, something that usually doesn't happen with Killdeers!

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It had been a great day of birding. 


Thanks for looking! :)




 

 

 

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