Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pelicans and Shorebirds on Long Island today ...

Wasn't sure what to do this morning so wasn't rushing to get on the road.  I was thinking that I might check the sod-farms around Riverhead even though its still a bit early for Grasspipers.  While I was dithering over coffee I got a text from Andrew Baksh who had just found an AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN at Jamaica Bay.  So I had a plan, and rushed off to the car, arriving at the East Pond at around 8am and quickly finding the bird (NYS 2012 #333).   Now if only I could find a Brown Pelican ...

American White Pelican
Anxious to get to the pelican, I'd run into the East Pond in sandals and with just my bins and camera.  Not really able to study the shorebirds, I turned around and walked out, passing Patricia Lindsay and Rob Bate heading in to look for the bird.  I did see a White-rumped Sandpiper, but otherwise a brief, but rewarding stop at Jamaican Bay.

White-rumped Sandpiper
Next stop was Jones Beach West End, where I hoped for a 2 Pelican day but the Brown Pelicans that had been there on Saturday have failed to return since then.  I did get a Marbled Godwit and a Whimbrel and spent some time with a gang of Long Island birders who'd gathered at the spot mid-morning.

Then off Out East; I'd seen some shorebirds on a sod field near Manorville a few days back but couldn't stop for them at the time so I wanted to return to check them out.  The grasspipers turned out to be just Killdeer but at least I worked out how to check that particular sod farm in September.  More sandpipers ended my day at Heckscher State Park where a small puddle held 7 Pectoral Sandpipers and an assortment of other shorebirds.  Studied Pectorals up close for the first time in years; Sharp-tailed Sandpiper has been found in New York before now, but not to be today.  This particular spot looks good for a range of shorebirds this Fall though, assuming we get enough rain.

Pectoral Sandpiper (two shots)

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