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Iona South Jetty - September 1 2014

Posted by Liron on Wednesday, September 3, 2014
On September 1st, I took public transit into Richmond and then biked to Iona Island. I pulled into the parking lot at around 9:00 AM, and then right away began biking the 4km (8km round trip) south jetty. On the way out I spoke to a few birders who were on their walk back in, and I was informed that 144 Surfbirds had been seen at the tip of the jetty earlier in the morning! Awesome! That would be a lifer! Unfortunately the birds had apparently flown off and had not come back yet.

After a 15 minute bike out to the tip of the jetty, I was a greeted by a few birders who also had gotten out to the tip that morning. After a fairly short wait at the tip, 5 shorebirds flew in to join the Western Sandpipers that were sitting on the rocks. They were much larger than the sandpipers. Surfbirds!! I got some nice photos and killer views of these birds. They were a life bird, #644. Awesome!!:D 

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The Surfbirds did not stay for very long because the tide was rising very quickly and soon the rocks they were on began to get splashed. The Surfbirds did not like this and soon took off:

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Also being impacted by the tide were some Common Terns. They had been on some rocks a bit too far off for photos, but the rising tide caused those to be submerged so they came and landed much closer:

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A birding friend of mine, Mel, who was already at the tip when I got out there now took me to where she had seen the Wandering Tattler earlier on. This was only my second BC Wandering Tattler, the other being on the south jetty last year. This bird was a juvenile so it is definitely not the same bird from last year. I got lots of shots including this one of it stretching a wing:

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I now went back to the tip where the terns were still present. The wind was blowing at the perfect angle for flight shots. Birds will 99% of the time land into the wind, and that is exactly what the terns were doing:

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I spent the next 6 or 7 hours at Iona, most of that at the tip. I walked the last kilometer of the tip a couple times, biked back to shore once, checked out the ponds, went back out, ect. It was a fun day! I spent a lot of time photographing the terns, and it was so much fun to watch their interactions as they came and landed. Notice how they are all landing away from me in these shots, that is because the wind had shifted.

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It was also fun to get some portrait shots of the closer birds:

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It was a great day at Iona! I biked around 40 kilometers in total, so in addition to lots of birding I had a great time on my bike. Here is one last shot of the Wandering Tattler:

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Thanks for looking! :)




 

 

 

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