This week, it looked as though I'd missed my last shot at the species, when two birds that had stopped for a day at Montezuma NWR moved on before I could get there. Still, ever optimistic (despite the griping) I kept scanning likely spots on Long Island almost daily.
At Jones Beach this morning there were quite a lot of shorebirds, and detailed scanning through the morning produced a good selection including a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, 2 Western Sandpipers, a Pectoral Sandpiper, and a MARBLED GODWIT. The last bird was hidden, sleeping, among the Willets and just appeared (as if by magic) when the birds reshuffled under Peregrine attack. The bird also flushed as others, including Greg Lawrence and Gary Chapin were rushing over to get a look - I could see the bird flying West and frantically jumped up and down making exaggerated pointing gestures, but to no avail. Always good to get a Godwit, but unfortunately, the wrong one again, and even that one didn't stay long.
"Hi, it's Greg" said Greg Lawrence.
"You're going to kill us, but we're at Jamaica Bay, and we have a Hudsonian Godwit."
So back to the car, which the bemused garage attendant had just put away for the night at the back of the building. Back into traffic, which of course was horrible, and off to Jamaica Bay. While I was on the road Andrew Baksh, Tom Burke, Derek Rogers, and Corey Finger all called. They wanted to make sure I knew about the bird (which was really nice) but each call also ramped up the stress level so that I was positively frothing at the mouth by the time I finally broke free of traffic after almost an hour of bumper-to-bumper crawling, and pulled into the reserve HQ.
I needn't have worried though, after a quick walk/jog over to The Raunt, I found Greg, Gary, Tom, etc. all quietly watching the bird, which looked happy and settled. HUDSONIAN GODWIT (NYS 2012 #338)!
|Hudsonian Godwit (distant iPhone shot)|