Friday, October 13, 2017

October 2017 Jackman Wetlands, Aldergrove, BC. Yellowlegs, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher

A report of a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Jackman Wetlands got me wondering, where the heck is Jackman Wetlands? An enquiry to Fraser Valley Birds got me an answer.  Thanks Nick.  It is located just north of the intersection of 272 St. and 8th. Ave. across from the Langley landfill.  This is a reclaimed area that was once a landfill itself.  It has been leased by a group of dog owners called the Fraser Valley Retriever Training Club.  The general public was given access about a year ago.  The district of Langley has done a lot of work here, landscaping and developing trails.  Here are some pictures taken in a recent visit.

The pin above Aldergrove Park indicates Jackman Wetlands.  Entrance is on 272 St.
Dian leaving the parking lot.
I was sitting by one of the ponds when a Wilson's Snipe came out of hiding.  A Lesser Yellowlegs approaches from the rear.
The sign says dogs should be on a leash but, as in most parks, many people simply ignore it.  The members of the dog club have permission to train their dogs here and they are exempt from the leash restriction.  I visited the site twice while they were there and they appeared to be a responsible group with well trained dogs.  I am grateful they have agreed to share the area with the general public.
The object of our visit was this Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.  Only its head was visible when we first spotted it.
It walked away before I could get a frontal shot.
Pectoral Sandpipers were also here and they can easily be confused with the Sharp-tailed.
Low water levels expose mud which the shorebirds need for foraging on their migration south.
A small flock of Long-billed Dowitchers.
Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.
There are more ponds on the property but only one had suitable shorelines for the peeps.
Greater Yellowlegs appear to be fighting but they may just be having fun.

Here one stomps on the other's head.
Then one jabs its beak right through the other's head.  (Just kidding.  Optical illusion)

I'll grab your toe.
Leggo my toe!!
After a few moments they went their own ways, non the worst for wear.
Long-billed Dowitcher with what appears to be a Dragonfly nymph??

This pump had us puzzled.  We learned it is used to pump methane out of the old dump to fuel local green houses.
Another pond.
The major waterfowl pond.  It is nice to have a local patch for shorebirds.  Saves a lot of travelling to the coast for a sandpiper fix.
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