Day 1 - Arrival in Sandspit this afternoon. If time permits we can do a little birding around the Sandspit Airport. Night in Sandspit.
Day 2 - We'll spend much of the morning walking the perimeter of the Sandspit Airport, an excellent area for birds. This walk often produces excellent views of flocks of Lapland Longspurs. There can be a variety of raptors including Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier and even Short-eared Owl around here. Shorebirds to watch for include Black Turnstones, Sanderlings, Black-bellied Plover, Pacific Golden-Plover, Dunlin and more. This location has turned up a mouth-watering list of rarities over the years, so we'll always be prepared for the unexpected. In the afternoon, we'll catch the ferry across to Skidegate and drive up the island to Massett where we'll spend the night. Along the way we'll stop at one or two coastal viewpoints and scan the ocean for waterbirds. Red-necked Grebes, Horned Grebes and Western Grebes are often abundant at this time of year, as are Harlequin Ducks and all three species of scoters. Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres, as well as Pigeon Guillemots and Pelagic Cormorants are all a common sight along this portion of the coast. Night in Massett.
Day 3 - We'll start with a short walk around the beach on which we are staying, hopefully finding some goodies here. With the use of scopes we should see Red-throated and Pacific loons, and perhaps migrant flocks of mixed waterfowl. Next up we'll explore the Delatkla Wildlife Sanctuary where tidal lagoons attract some waterfowl and shorebirds. Most likely shorebird candidates include Long-billed Dowitcher, Pectoral Sandpiper and Black-bellied Plover, but with any luck we could get something rare like a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. Next, we'll head out towards Rose Spit where we'll walk part of this long beach and hope for some interesting sightings. The vegetation at the edge of the beach and the forest can hold quite a few passerines such as Pacific Wrens, Savannah, Song and Fox sparrows, Red Crossbills and Golden-crowned Kinglets to name a few species. Again, Rose Spit has hosted its fair share of rarities and we'll have our eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary. This evening we can to find a Northern Saw-whet Owl, with the local Haida race being quite unique. Night in Massett.
Day 4 - Before we leave Massett we'll have a quick look around Old Massett where overgrown gardens can harbor some interesting bird species. On previous trips here we have found the Haida race of Pine Grosbeak in this area. From Massett we return to Queen Charlotte City and take the short ferry ride back to Sandspit. From the ferry we'll look for Black-legged Kittiwakes which can often be common here, and on our 2016 tour we had a Sabine's Gull from the boat. Once back in Sandspit we'll do a little searching around for passerines in brushy areas and hopefully we will find Townsend's Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, kinglets, creepers, and whatever else is hiding in amongst them. Night in Sandspit.
Day 5 - We have the morning to explore the Sandspit area before early afternoon flights back to Vancouver. Another walk around the airport will be in order.