Monday, August 27, 2012

Still slogging away at the shorebirds ...

So far this year, I've seen 36 species of Shorebird in New York State but I'm still hoping for three or four more before the year is out.  To that end, I'm still hitting the shorebird spots on Long Island at least three or four days a week, hoping for a Hudsonian Godwit, a Red Phalarope, or one of the rarities that could still potentially show up here.  Hadn't had much luck of late so was excited on Sunday afternoon when, while I was watching American Golden Plovers along Doctor's Path near Riverhead, Andrew Baksh called to say that two Hudsonian Godwits had just been found at Jamaica Bay.  The problem is that Riverhead is on the East end of the Island and Jamaica Bay is on the West end, and unfortunately by the time I got there, the birds had vanished.  After checking the West Pond and the South end of the East Pond at Jamaica Bay I gave up on the Hudwits in the fading light, but resolved to try again on Monday.

I didn't get the early start I wanted this morning and unfortunately, just as I was booting up in the parking lot near the East Pond I got the update from Andrew that there was still no sign of the Hudwits.  Nevertheless I went in and enjoyed good looks at the American White Pelican, an American Avocet, and a decent selection of shorebirds.   Steve Walter reminded everyone that the Hudwits were seen on the high tide, so having five hours to kill before then I wandered East to check Jones Beach, Oak Beach and Heckscher State Park, racking up a decent selection of shorebirds, but no Hudwits and nothing new for the year.

Back at Jamaica Bay in the afternoon, I had to deal with a massive thunderstorm, so pushed back into the phragmites (no-one wants to stand on a mud-flat with a metal tripod in a thunderstorm) and hunkered down under my umbrella.  When the storm cleared, there were a *lot* of shorebirds to look at and, even if the Hudwits didn't show up, I spent a pleasant couple of hours wading through them.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper (2 shots)

One of the first birds I picked up was a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, a bit of a shock on the East Pond but presumably dumped by the storm.  Andrew Baksh arrived soon afterwards and saw that bird, and quickly found a Western Sandpiper, a bird that has been in short supply on Long Island this year.  We also racked up a pretty decent shorebird list with 17 species at the high tide.  Hudsonian Godwit however, will have to wait for another day ....

No comments:

Post a Comment