The skies were very dark and the rain roared down bouncing off the asphalt as I drove out to Surrey. Off to the south, the direction I was heading, there were nice bright blues breaks in the clouds, "fingers crossed"..ha..it was just a tease! As I pulled up in front of Kim's home, she was there to greet me on the front porch and a snicker over our luck with the weather. It wasn't stopping us though, we had seen from Blackie Spit on Sunday, loads of birds across the bay and we were determined to see them this day!
With driving directions in hand, off we go. We were well equipped for the rain with coats, boats, umbrellas and good spirits!
Once we reached the trail, we were a bit disappointed to discover that the shoreline was not easily accessible. We walked further hoping to find a way to get closer to the water and found a beaten path that lead us to the water's edge. I was very, very careful as to where I stepped as neither of us wanted a repeat of Sunday's mud "mis"-adventure. We found all the usual characters, gulls, ducks, sandpipers and many Great Blue Herons. There were also swallows galore swooping across the waters surface to catch the many insects there. Very cool to watch.
Me, still a little mud-shy, decided not to venture quite as far as Kim. Disappointment set in as all the flocks of birds we had observed on this shoreline from Blackie Spit on Sunday, just were not here. I have to say though,I am never disappointed with the beauty and vastness of the ocean so as Kim was busy snapping photos of the herons and sandpipers, I took in the beauty around us and snapped a few shots.
After a couple of hours, Kim and I decided it was time to go. Sunday I had been worried that I had spoiled Kim's day by sinking in the mud and now today Kim was sorry we hadn't seen much after my long drive out.. No worries here, any chance to be near the water is just fine with me.
As we headed back to the car, getting wetter by the as the rain pounded aginst us, a tiny little bird hopped out of the grass onto the trail just infront of us. Like syncronized swimmers, both Kim and I pointed in awe and wondered "what was this?". Quickly pulling our cameras back out of their bags, we began to snap pictures and watch this fascinating little bird as he hopped along in front of us stopping occassionally to see if we were still following him. He was as cute as could be and had no obvious interest in wanting to head towards the shore or fly away from our curiousity.
This little guy may not have been where he should have, but he showed up at the right time and place for Kim and I to have found our little treasure of gold for this outting. With the help of a couple of twitter friends and bird enthusiasts, we were able to identify this to be a Western Sandpiper. Not like the Western "Mud" piper (me) haha! (my last name is Piper)
I have to say that all-in-all, our day was a success and just the beginning of many more birding adventures to come for myself and birding buddy and friend Kim!!