White-fronted Geese are feeding all over the place in Masset, on the lawns, in the playing field, in Delkatla and at the Golf Course. There’s a Snow Goose with them and a small flock of Cackling Canadas. One with a radio collar showed up this morning and we wait to see who it is. The Marbled Godwits are still in Delkatla although their numbers are down.
It’s been a late winter and early spring with very few birds coming through. After the exciting fall and winter it all went very quiet. Now suddenly the sanctuary is alive with migrants. A Snow Goose drifts in with over 1,000 White-fronted Geese to feed in the meadow. 70+ Marbled Godwits and as many Short-billed Dowitchers also feed along the water’s edge. A Wandering Tattler and three Surfbirds fed on the rocks this morning and Horned Grebes in breeding plumage fed busily in the near-shore waters.
Black-bellied Plovers ran over the flats with smaller Dunlin and Western Sandpipers and just this morning, May 3 a Whimbrel fed on the beach with 3 Marbled Godwits. Tree Swallows were later than usual, we only saw two before the end of April, but now they are pairing up and searching out nest sites. Two Pacific Golden Plovers flew in this morning, both they and the BBPL are all dressed up for the busy season. The warblers have returned, Townsend’s and Orange-crowned are singing down Cemetery Road and Hermit Thrushes sang in the misty twilight last night. A snipe winnowed over the playing fields last night, we haven’t heard one for years. Sandhill Cranes came back in mid-April, small groups of 2 to 3 feed in the meadow. The Brant didn’t get here until late April and remain elusive although over 1,000 fed in Shingle Bay in Sandspit on April 30. No rarities as yet, but if anything shows up I’ll try and remember to post it. It’s a busy life! Oops, almost forgot, a Lapland Longspur turned up on May 2 in fine breeding plumage. This is a shot taken in October 2010, the one we saw yesterday was much more colourful.