Posted in Atlantic Canada Birding

the last dog day of summer – my nemesis Godwit conquered

the last dog day of summer – my nemesis Godwit conquered Posted on October 22, 2016

It was a day of dogs, sunshine, and changed plans.  And it sure did feel like summer.

The goal was to have the morning to run the dogs at the beach, and the afternoon to go goose hunting (with a camera of course) in Shubenacadie.

But before I went to bed I saw a note about some Hudsonian Godwits being spotted in Wolfville.  As I missed them last year, they were a target bird for me this summer but they eluded me both in CSI and Cape Breton so had become a nemesis bird which can be pretty frustrating according to the “birdist” and I must concur.

My alarm was set for plenty of time to be at Rainbow Haven for 10am, with a planned stop at Bissett Lake to make a quick check for rare ducks.  Nothing really different stood out but it was nice to see the Buffleheads are back diving and splashing and being generally adorable.

As I was getting ready to leave a fellow with a young English Mastiff wanted the dogs to play for a bit and I could not resist letting Macy have a socialization opportunity with a large dog so of course we were late to meet our friends at Rainbow Haven.

At any rate when I joined Sylvia and her Border Collie, Tack, at Rainbow Haven she hardly noticed I was running late as she had her binoculars and camera so was birding while she waited.  We ran the pants off the dogs and discussed afternoon birding plans and decided since neither of us had seen a Hudsonian Godwit before we had to try.

Macy and Tack
Macy and Tack

We still thought we might try to fit the geese in, but when we found out our other member of the goose hunting party had also made other plans, we ditched the geese altogether and went straight to the valley.

Since I’m a person who prides myself on organization and plans it’s tough for me to throw caution to the wind and run off in another direction but this worked out wonderfully and I finally got to watch the beautiful Hudsonian Godwits.

My photos are not very clear as the birds were not very close, but I’m still very happy to have had the experience and to have any photos at all.  In retrospect, I should not have used my sports setting as the birds were staying still and the auto setting is much better for clear shots on my Canon Powershot SX50 HS.  However, I am grateful for the viewing.

Click on the photo to be taken to my full album of Godwit photos.

Hudsonian Godwit with 3 Black-bellied Plovers – this shot is cropped which I usually do not do – click on the photo to see all the un-cropped shots

Somehow it ended up being with 2 on leash Border Collies who weren’t even supposed to be with us, but it all worked out great.

We had really great directions from Jake Walker about where to find them and what time.  We also bumped into Rick Whitman and Richard Stern and received some excellent shorebirding tips so we had the best birders in the Valley looking out for us as well as sunshine and beautiful fall foliage.

The grandest day, indeed.

Happy Birding,

Angela & Macy (bird dog in training)