Saturday, 26 August 2017

Bar River Sod Farm Shorebirds

The sod far, just south of Echo Bay in the Bar River area, can be a great place for shorebirds when the conditions are right.  It just so happened that August 24th was the best day of shorebirds so far.  I had already observed Killdeer, Semipalmated Plovers, a Least Sandpiper Black-bellied Plovers, and an American Golden-Plover at this location in the few weeks prior. 

In the morning, my dad left for work and made a stop to see if there were any birds.  He sent me a photo of identification help, which was of a Baird's Sandpiper.  I needed this species for my life list, so I rushed out the door, knowing I just had enough time to go there before I had to get to work.

I arrived and found all the birds right away.  There were four Semipalmated Sandpipers and two Least Sandpipers hanging out together.  A little further back were six Baird's Sandpipers.  There was one more shorebird that seemed different than the rest.  I snapped some shots and zoomed in on it on the camera.  I was a Buff-breasted Sandpiper!  This was I think the first record of one in Ontario this year.  It turns out another was was found in Southern Ontario the same morning, but I'm pretty sure mine was first based on the timing of the ONTBIRDS emails.  My dad did see it as well though and had pictures, but just hadn't sent it to me for ID help yet.

Other birds in the area were able to make it out and see these birds as they hing around for the whole day.  Two American Golden-Plovers showed up later in the day as well and were there when I stopped again on my way home from work.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Baird's Sandpiper