Tuesday, June 1, 2010
An unprecedented 4th Wilson’s Phalarope was reported by birder Steve Walter, on May 29th. Coincidently, Steve also reported the first one seen this Spring on May 21st. The other 2 Wilson’s Phalaropes were found by birders Tom Burke and Gail Benson on May 22nd. I was lucky to observe and photograph all 4 birds and in my opinion they were all different birds. While Wilson’s Phalaropes in the spring are the ones most frequently seen, they are considered to be rare this time of the year. It was a treat to observe them in breeding plumage.
Aside that it may be a good year for Wilson’s Phalarope, this is really quite nice for Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Four Wilson's Phalaropes in the Spring may also be a record for the refuge according to Bulls Birds of New York State, which sites the maxima in past Spring to be 3 females.
The impact of available feeding and resting grounds should not be overlooked. The number of Wilson’s Phalaropes this year at the refuge could be attributed to the available mudflats on the West Pond. In reviewing my reports from last year shorebird monitoring at the refuge, the numbers are up significantly on the West Pond. Last year, the water level was poorly managed on the West Pond resulting in sparse numbers of shorebirds documented. However, this year the water level has been managed extremely well resulting in an increase of shorebirds seen on the available mudflats on the West Pond.
Tags: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Wilson's Phalarope, Bird Watching at Jamaica Bay
Posted by BIRDINGDUDE at 9:06 PM