Tuesday, January 3, 2017

RBA: PURPLE SANDPIPER in Victoria - Dec 30-Apr 25th

At 3:45pm on December 30th, 2016 - Jeremy Gatten found a 1st cycle Purple Sandpiper at Kitty Islet in Victoria. The bird was relocated on Dec 31st-2016 by Daniel Donnecke at the Victoria Golf Course and photographed. On January 2nd, 2017 the bird was refound once again at the original location at Kitty Islet. On January 3rd, 2017 the bird was seen once again at Kitty Islet by several observers throughout the day, where it fed on the rocks with various shorebirds. The bird was photographed in flight on Jan 2 and 3rd, which helped aid in identification. Photos of the wing shots that helped aid in the identification can be viewed on page 1 HERE

The same bird may have been photographed as early as September 29th-2016 on Trial Island by Marie O'Shaughnessy. She photographed a similar looking shorebird with orange legs and bill. She did not identify it as a Purple Sandpiper on this date. The same bird may also have been photographed once again by Geoffrey Newell at the Victoria Golf Course on November 28th-2016. He noted the bright and extensive orange colour on the legs and bill. At the time, the bird was not identified as a Purple Sandpiper.

The bird continued at Kitty Islet up until January 6th.

The bird was not seen on January 7th.

The bird was seen on the morning of January 8th at Kitty Islet but there were no subsequent sightings throughout the day.

The bird was seen at 7:35 am on January 10th at Kitty Islet.

The bird was seen from 9:45-10:20am on January 11th by multiple observers at Kitty Islet. The bird flew towards Trial Island and was not seen the rest of the day.

The bird was present for less than ten minutes at 9:30am on January 12th before flying off towards Trial Island.

At 4:15pm on January 14th, Chris Charlesworth and Ian Cruickshank relocated it on the NW end of Little Trial Island. The bird was viewed from McMicking Point. A scope was required.

At 12pm on January 17th, David Fraser viewed the bird on Little Trial Island through a scope from McMicking Point for ten mins before it flew out of sight.

At 1:15pm on January 20th, Sharon and Mike Toochin viewed the bird on Little Trial Island through a scope for 15 mins from McMicking Point. At 2:50pm the bird flew directly onto McMicking Point and remained there in close view until 3:25pm. The bird then flew to Kitty Islet, where it stayed in close range and viewable with binoculars until 4:15pm.

At 11:20 am on January 21st, the bird was seen at Kitty Islet, where it was viewable with binoculars. At 11:35 am it flew to Little Trial Island, where it was still present and viewable by scope as of 12:30pm.

The bird continued on Little Trial Island on Jan 23rd..

The bird continued on Kitty Islet on Jan 24-25th.

On Jan 28th, the bird was seen on Trial Island and on Little Trial Island. The bird was seen by multiple observers throughout the day (a scope is required).

The bird was not seen Jan 29-Feb 1st.

At 1:30pm on Feb 7th, the bird was seen by Val George at Kitty Islet for 10 mins before it flew to Trial Island.

The bird was present on Feb 17th and again on April 17th at Little Trial Island.

The bird was last seen on April 25th on Kitty Islet as viewed by Paul Lehman et al.

*Note that at this point in time, the best viewing coincides with a low tide.*

Kitty Islet is located at 568 Beach Drive, Victoria, BC

Map to location HERE

This is the first record for British Columbia and the second record for the Pacific Coast in the ABA.

Photo: Melissa Hafting
Photo: Peter Candido

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