This was the last bird I expected to see today! I headed into Nanaimo to check out shorebirds at Holden Creek. There were birds there but nothing to get my heart rate going like this bird. It was when I was approaching Parksville on my way home I received a phone call from Lori giving me the news. "Red Knot at Columbia Beach!" I was home three minutes later and Lori and Nolan jumped in the car and we were off! En-route Lori explained that a 'possible Ruff' had been seen earlier. Guy Monty, a local biologist and wildlife consultant went and checked out the report. His reply was there was no Ruff but the Red Knot was pretty sweet! It only took about 10 minutes to get to Columbia Beach and about 30 seconds to see the bird. The Red Knot was obligingly feeding in one of the pools directly in front of the parking area. It was defiantly as skittish bird and would not allow any close approach. No matter. It was a 'lifer' for us all and a very much wanted one at that!
Silly o'clock and a drive to Summerset + a 2 1/2 hour watch at Ham Wall RSPB Reserve produced good looks at my first British P ied-billed Grebe. We turned up just after eight and just in time to miss this North American mega by minutes! Little Grebes kept us on our toes but we had to wait it out until about 10:40 am when it appeared from the corner where it had disappeared. There was a nice crowd here, all remaining hopeful and humorous during this very cold vigil. This little beauty made a b-line to open water, affording all great views. Bonus bird at this site was a Great White Egret .