Friday, October 1, 2010

Golden Reasons To Save Floyd Bennett Field...

Man on a mission.  Shane keeping an eye on the birds at FBF.
Today, was the kind of day that reminded me of the day birder, Shane Blodgett, found the Mew Gull in Brooklyn. On that day, Pat Lindsay had passed on the intelligence about the find; I in turn connected with Shane and got on and photographed the bird. This afternoon, Shane crossed my mind as I prepared for a trip to Floyd Bennett Field when the phone rang. It was Shane and my first thought was, he has something.  Indeed, he did.  Shane, indicated that he was looking at an interesting Plover at FBF. Of course, he had not finished talking and I was already heading down the Belt Parkway on my way to Brooklyn. It took longer than usual due to traffic made slower with the rain, but I finally got to the location where I saw Shane holding on to an umbrella for dear life while trying to keep an eye on the "interesting" Plover. I quickly got on the bird and together we began discussing the bird, while I digiscoped and photographed the bird. The more we studied and discussed the bird, the more we thought that it was an American Golden Plover. Shane had mused about a possible, Pacific Golden Plover.

Adult American Golden Plover at Floyd Bennett Field Brooklyn NY.
Shane earlier had about 10 American Golden Plovers on the runways; knowing Shane and how conservative he is with counts, I am willing to bet that there could have been more. I ended up seeing three American Golden Plovers in total, 2 juveniles and 1 adult. In addition, to the AGPs, there were several Black Belied Plovers, 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, 1 Least Sandpiper, 1 Rudy Turnstone and 1 Red Knot. Shane might have had more Red Knots earlier and other birds. The diversity of birds once again showed the importance of Floyd Bennett Field, to migrating birds. Where else would these birds touch down to get a reprieve from the bad weather this afternoon? This, is yet another reason why we have to ensure that those who have grand plans for the location do not lose sight of the importance of this site to wildlife.

The interesting Plover, that we settled on being an American Golden Plover
The reason why this bird stood out for Shane was the tertials.  American Golden Plover has relatively long wings that project well beyond the tail tip, giving it a more pointed look behind, whereas, the wings of Pacific usually just reach the tail tip or slightly beyond it. "Primary projection is longer in American, typically with three and a half or four primaries visible beyond the longest tertial, wheras in Pacific about three are visible.  Difference in part because of length of the tertials, which fall short of the tail tip in American and usually reach or extend it in Pacific". (Paulson D. Shorebirds of North America The Photographic Guide)

Juvenile American Golden Plover in the background with Black-belied Plovers

Our interesting juvenile American Golden Plover and Adult American Golden Plover.

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1 comment:

Abraham Lincoln said...

I really liked your Plover shots. Nice work.