Fall Shorebirds at the Courtenay Airpark

Long-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus)
A flock of about a dozen Long-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus) have been hanging out at the Courtenay Airpark for the last week or so.

The Long-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus) that I wrote about in late September last year are back at the Airpark Lagoon in Courtenay, BC. For the last week or so there’s been a nice flock of dowitchers working the mud flats in a location that allows for a close approach. I got a few photographs today but again the dull weather and fast feeding birds didn’t cooperate to produce anything that was super crisp. A fair amount of Photoshop sharpening was required to get the images somewhat usable for the web. Lots of grain because of the high ISO needed to produce a workable shutter speed.

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)
A Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) working its way through the grass.

Also in the Airpark Lagoon was a small flock of about a half-dozen Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) that were feeding on the exposed mud. I was fortunate that one approached close enough that I was able to get a few photographs of it as well. Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs can also be challenging to separate visually but I was lucky that these were calling as they flew from one part of the lagoon to the other. The Greater’s call is described as a three note “deew, deew, deew” while the Lesser is a short two note “too, too.” Again, a certain amount of work in Photoshop was needed to sharpen up the images so that they were usable.

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) searching for food in flooded grass.

It was great to watch these birds and I’m hoping for a day with better lighting and a chance to get out and photograph them again!

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