'Tis the season for shore birding. That means rain or shine I gotta get out there in the hopes of seeing a rarity as well as better learn the more common shore birds that frequent our beaches.
Such was the case about a week ago when a birding friend and I took on a cold and nasty day in August in search of a verified sighting of a Pacific Golden Plover. With a great deal of gumption we pulled our hoods up, covered our gear and started a long, wet and windy walk down Bellevue Beach.
Along the way we found many Ruddy Turnstones and White-rumped Sandpipers. For me it was my first time to get a good look at the White-rumped and frankly, I misidentified it. What a surprise! When I later learned that I had photographed the White-rumped, I had to go to the books and study yet again.
It may have been the conditions of the day that kept these birds fairly close and on the ground allowing for good looks. Who would want to fly in 70km winds?
Happy to see these birds but still hoping to see the elusive Pacific Golden Plover, we trekked on through tall grass and soaking bog. With freezing fingers, drenched shoes and pants, we thought surely our misery would be rewarded. Well, it was but not with what we expected. We both had our first look at a Leach's Storm Petrel. More on that in a later post.
It must have been well over two hours that we searched the beach and just stood and stared at the species so close to us. On that day we also got a glimpse of a small flock of White-winged Scoter. All things considered, we had a very fruitful day and even marvelled a little bit at our own stamina to endure the elements. It was truly a memorable day of birding.
Note: I have gathered a number of photos and have fallen behind a little in my postings. I will eventually get them all up but, you see, Summer arrived this week, and I am so enjoying the warm weather. I really thought that Summer was going to skip Newfoundland this year. Also, migration is beginning and birds are moving around again. I must follow.