Jul. 28/04, 2004
THE SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER(?)
The greatest source of confusion in my early days of birding last year was the Semipalmated Sandpiper. It's amazing how many "short-billed" Westerns one can find by trying too hard. My strategy this year is was not to try. If one came to me, then so be it. Well, I think one came to me on Jul. 26 after an emergency dental appointment in Qualicum. By 9:00 AM there were already too many sun worshippers on the beautiful beach, but a small group of Bonaparte Gulls caught my attention. As I was dragging my camera and tripod out to the water's edge, a small sandpiper flew out from the gulls. I automatically assumed "Least", but as I zoomed in, black legs, short-bill, small size = possible "Semipalmated." 30 clicks and a few hours later, I was ready to debut my first "possible" Semipalmated of the year. I won't be surprised if I'm wrong, but I like my chances of being right for a change. I expect to hear from you if I'm wrong.
What are the odds that the only sandpiper in 3 km of beach would be a Semipalmated?
The Sandpiper was so intent in feeding that it did not seem to mind my company.
I was prepared to shoot more than 30 pictures, but with the increasing number of bathers, walkers, joggers, and dogs, the sandpiper headed north and I headed south.
A MULTITUDE OF MERGANSERS - The Common Merganser ducklings of June 3 have all grown up and joined with others to form a large batallion off the Englishman Estuary. (Jul. 26/04)
CLOSING IN - In Journal 35 I complained about not getting close enough to the Caspian Tern (200'). This week, at Qualicum Beach I got a little closer (100'). (Jul. 26/04)
WELCOME BACK - It was only a few weeks ago that the Bonaparte Gulls left. It was great to see them back at Qualicum this week. (Jul. 26/04)
A BUSHEL OF BUSHTITS - A squadron of about 20 Bushtits floated through my garden this morning, cleaning up the aphids and other bugs I hope. (Jul. 27/04)
RING-BILLED GULL - Admiral's Lagoon - Jul. 28/04
Cercyonis pegala - My Garden - Jul. 28/04
Merlin - Columbia Beach - Jul. 28/04