Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Upland Sandpiper at Robert Moses State Park LI NY...

Digiscoped shot of the Upland Sandpiper at Fire Island.

On Monday, I did not learn about the Upland Sandpiper until I sat down at the computer and saw the e-mail, indicating that Shai Mitra had found an Upland Sandpiper at Robert Moses State Park Suffolk County LI NY. Once I saw the post, I got on the phone to call folks I figured might be out and about only to find out that some folks had already gotten wind of the bird being found. I decided against going out to try for the bird and figured that I would give it a shot the next day.

By 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, I was prowling around the entrance to Field 4 when another birder Ken Fuestel drove up just past me. Ken hung around for a few minutes and then headed towards field 5. I caught up with Ken a little later in the parking lot and we exchanged intelligence. Neither of us had seen the target bird. Ken indicated that he was heading down to Jones Beach West End and I decided that I would stick around and prowl some more.

Digiscoped shot of the Upland Sandpiper at Fire Island.

Half an hour later as I pulled out of Field 5, I noticed a car pulled over to the side of the median and I realized there was someone with a scope. I knew right there that the bird was around. It was birder, Bob Adamo, and he had relocated the Upland Sandpiper. As I got off on one of the turn around, I noticed another car pulled over to the side. I did not recognize that it was another birder, Gerta Fritz, who had pulled over and was trying to call me (a kind gesture indeed).

I immediately got the bird in Bob's Scope and then looked at it through my bins then had my own scope views. Gerta joined us soon after. Eventually, we moved our vehicles to avoid any hassle from the Parks Department and then walked back to the location of the bird. The person I thought of was Ken. He should see this bird as he was there looking for it early that morning. So we tried to get in touch with him.

Digiscoped shot of the Upland Sandpiper at Fire Island.

We all waited for Ken, but just before he got there the bird flushed due to the excessive traffic with the numerous trucks carrying sand that was being used to repair the beach erosion. When Ken got to our location, we told him the bad news. I then, volunteered to stay and look for the bird with him. I felt that the flight pattern seemed to indicate that it could not have gone too far. We first checked the beach, then the sand dunes around field five, then walked around field five all the way near the traffic circle, then circled back and it was then we picked up the bird along the median. We had good looks, but once again the traffic caused this bird to shy away into the tall grass. Satisfied with the looks, Ken and I parted ways again and I continued on to Jones Beach and other locations. This was only my second Upland Sandpiper and the best looks for me, so I totally soaked it up. I hope others get to see this bird before it decides that it needs to continue on.

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