Monday, July 25, 2011

Field Notes - Shorebird numbers on the rise at Jamaica Bay Wildife Refuge...

It is starting to heat up at Jamaica Bay and it’s not just the weather; shorebird numbers are slowly starting to build and with it an increase in the diversity. On a hot day in the field last Wednesday, I recorded 13 species of shorebirds with the highlight being 31 Stilt Sandpipers. The count of Stilt Sandpipers was a high for me and I hope this is a sign of good things to come. I am hoping for lots of birds, to help ease the angst that I and many others have over the water level situation at the East Pond. Even with this hot weather the water level remains too high and at the rate it is decreasing, it seems we are going to be well into August before adequate mudflats are available for the migrant shorebirds to feed and rest. I worry that we will lose many birds who either decide to skip the pond since the feeding grounds are not available or those who make the stop but are unable to gain the weight necessary to make the long journey to their wintering grounds.

Stilt Sandpipers in good numbers at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Note the bill on the Long-billed Dowicther, not an easy one to pick out among Short-billed.
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1 comment:

cindyzlogic said...

Cool looking beaks on the Stilts! I see they're dunking their heads way under to get at the food. Congrats on your awesome number of Stilts!