Monday, September 7, 2009

A day at Blackie Spit

This past Sunday did not begin as a regular Sunday for this newly retired lady! Instead of the usual sleeping in until 9 or 10 am, the alarm was set for 7:30 so I could get up, get ready and head to Kim's (@LadyWoodpecker) so we could spend the morning at Blackie Spit to do some shorebird watching.

Kim taking photos along the edge of the mudflats

Blackie Spit is just past the beach area of Crescent Beach in Surrey BC and is one of the best birdwatching areas in Canada with over 200 species recorded. Kim and I were determined to find the specie to make any fellow bird watcher drool.

The morning started off with some threatening looking clouds and a brief down pour but there was nothing that was going to stop us to see what we had come for. We were greated by the usual gulls that one expects to see along the shorelines and of course there were several ducks and Canada Geese.

As Kim and I started our journey along the beach, we spotted something in the water. Thinking it was probably nothing more then a duck, we were almost quick to brush it off but thought better of it just incase. Our instincts paid off. We quickly grabbed our binoculars to discover it was not a duck but what we have decided, after much discussion, to be a Common Murre (non-breeding). Very cool!  My photos are not so good but the one below is the best out of the bunch.
We proceeded along the beach and around into the mudflats where a flock of Greater Yellowlegs were busy feasting on their fresh finds the tide had brought in. The need to get closer was when our fun began as we ventured out into the mud.. As I eagerly slopped along, it was my one fatal step that had the makings of an America's funniest home video!! I started to sink and sink fast! Kim reached out for me as I was losing my balance but I fell onto my butt...the look on her face was priceless!!  At this point our concerns was with our cameras and binoculars and the thought of me keeping clean  became a non-issue. Needless to say, the two of us were laughing so hard I'm sure even the birds were sitting back chuckling at us. I walked out of the mud in my stocking feet with mud up to my waist and a great story to share!!
After a wash off in the salt water and hoping I had not spoiled Kim's day, I parked myself on a bench to collect my very wet and muddy composure and take in the lovely scenery that surrounded us. I have always been fond of the ocean and the calm and relaxing atmosphere as I look out into it's never ending greatness. So as Kim wandered back off to the mud, I took the opportunity to snap some shots of the sights.
Along with capturing the scenery, I also, with the help of my binoculars,  was observing the birdlife that was around us. From Blue Herons across the flats to a flock of Caspain Terns, the many gulls in flight and on the shore  to the Sandpipers that gracefully flew in formation, I was kept in awe of the many beauties we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy.
On our return back along the beach, we stopped to enoy the gulls with one in wasn't until we got home and downloaded the days worth of memories, did we realize that the rather large clump of seaweed this gull was picking up was not seaweed at all but a tennis ball of all things!!!
The day was a great success and I am looking forward to a return trip only this time with hip waders, a walking stick for balance and a change of clothes!!  Thank you Kim....I had a blast!
For more information on Blackie Spit, go to:


  1. hehehe, what a day! You snapped a great pic of that Common Murre and the Gull with is loot. Great post, Robbie!

  2. Thanks....I am still laughing!! hehe