Sunday, September 5, 2010

21 species of shorebirds beats 20....

American Golden-Plover at Jones Beach.
On Saturday, resisting the urge to head out east at places like Montauk LI, to do some post storm birding, I instead settled on birding closer to home. I did look to the Oceanside for any possible hurricane Earl fallouts, but after a non productive sea watch decided to focus on shorebirds. I was going to try and beat the previous day tally of 20 (see my report here).

My day started at Jones Beach, where my best bird was a juvenile American Golden Plover that I found on the spit at the Coast Guard Station at Jones Beach. I was able to get a few other birders on the AGP including, Sam Janazzo, Joe Viglietta and Sy Schiff.  My friend Shai Mitra, had one the day before on the beach front, so it could have been the same bird. I then headed back west stopping first at Floyd Bennett Field before heading to Fort Tilden. The water puddle at Floyd Bennett Field that was productive the day before was devoid of any shorebirds and despite checking it a few times came up empty. Killdeers were still loitering in good numbers on the various fields; other birds seen were a Baird's and one Semipalmated Sandpiper observed flying near the puddle, but they never landed. I wondered if the presence of 43 Canada Geese at the puddle kept the birds away. 
Over at Fort Tilden, there were some shorebirds around, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Pectoral Sandpiper at JBWR.
I then headed over to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge where I joined Karlo Mirth and Guy Tudor in search of a "Black-necked Stilt" that was supposedly seen flying into the marshes west of the West Pond. We did not find any Stilt, but I continued to add to my shorebird list. I left the refuge around 1:40 p.m., but returned around 3:30 p.m. to give the East and West Pond another go. Again, no "Black-necked Stilt", but I did enjoy a pleasant afternoon of birding and watched a beautiful sunset while birding the West Pond. I ended up with a total of 21 shorebird species, beating yesterday's total by 1. See my report below by site with an emphasis on shorebirds:

Jones Beach

1. Black-bellied Plover
3. Semipalmated Plover
4. American Oystercatcher
5. Greater Yellowlegs
7. Sanderling
8. Semipalmated Sandpiper
9. Least Sandpiper
10. White-rumped Sandpiper
11. Baird's Sandpiper
12. Short-billed Dowitcher

Floyd Bennett Field

13. Killdeer
Least Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper

Fort Tilden

Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
American Oystercatcher
14. Willet (Western)
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
American Oystercatcher
15. Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
16. Lesser Yellowlegs
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
18. Pectoral Sandpiper
19. Stilt Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher

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