A Semi Success

Birding reports from our roving reporter, Lesser Spot Finder, in Alberta, Canada.
Lesser Spot Finder
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk

A Semi Success

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:58 pm

This morning was my last opportunity to bird around CFB Suffield as I had the morning off and I would then be busy prior to departure on Sunday.
I woke to storm clouds and by the time I had arrived at the CANEX it was raining. Undeterred I walked to the eastern most pond at the WTP to check for waders. On the track down I was shadowed by 4 Northern Harriers, 1 female and 3 young; sometimes an individual bird would be only a few feet away from me. Sadly though I had left my camera in the room and what would have been a cracking shot was not to be.

On arrival at the pond I was immediately buzzed by a Willet and as I checked the margins I quickly picked up 14 American Avocets, a few Killdeer, 4 Wilson’s Phalaropes and a lone Greater Yellowlegs. I continued on, heading anti clockwise around the pond, and within minutes flushed a Killdeer which in turn flushed a small wader which flew across the pond. I got onto it and it was immediately obvious that this wasn’t a Western Sandpiper but its shorter billed Calidris cousin a Semipalmated Sandpiper. As it landed I had excellent views for a couple of minutes before I got too close and it flew south over the pond. I had been hoping for this species and had finally bagged it on the final attempt.

I walked back in the rain, with little else to report bar a few overhead Phalaropes and a Loggerhead Shrike. All in all a successful morning and worth getting drenched.

I now look forward to seeing my family.


I thought Semi-P was a lifer but having checked Wildlife Recorder find that I saw this species in 1996 in North Carolina and as I type in the Mess Garden have just been over-flown by a noisy Common Nighthawk; I guess it was disturbed somewhere on camp.

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