Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8-9th 2013 Shorebirding Report From Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Queens NY...

Shorebirds have started to arrive on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens New York. Just in time as the water level continues to draw down in the midst of a dry spell. As luck would have it, yesterday I found an American Avocet in the company of Short-billed Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpiper and 2 Stilt Sandpipers.

American Avocet (center) with Short-billed Dowitchers.

Today, the American Avocet continued along with pretty much the same variety of shorebirds from yesterday. Today's shorebird numbers are as follows:  
American Avocet: 1 
Short-billed Dowitchers: 1000 
Greater Yellowlegs: 19 
Lesser Yellowlegs: 21 
Spotted Sandpiper: 2 
Stilt Sandpiper: 8
Least Sandpiper: 12 
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 34 
Oystercatcher: 3

L-R: Stilt Sandpipers, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs.

The good news: I have cut walking paths through the phragmites on the North and South Ends of the Pond, more so on the North than the South. The East Pond while becoming more accessible with the lowering of the water remains soft and under water in many areas. It is STRONGLY advised to wear knee high water proof boots and proceed with caution. Please be respectful of the shorebirds and don't push them too hard as you make your way onto the pond for views. Stay against the phragmites and allow the birds to feed with minimal disturbance, so that they could gain the necessary weight to continue their travel.

The bad news: The East Pond as many of you know it, is not the same after Hurricane Sandy.  The South End has a deep cut and the breaches on the east side has created huge divides that are at the moment impassable. There are lots of soft spots and holes (more so on the South End), so one needs to be very careful as they attempt to navigate around the pond. As I continue to explore the East Pond, I will post information that should help in getting a clearer picture on how to navigate the area.

One last cautionary note: The MTA have a lot of security patrols monitoring the dyke to the North End of the East Pond. You really should not be, but if you are ever stopped, please remain polite and don't get annoyed with them.  They are only doing their job and are rather nice folks.  Double D's if you ever read this, thanks for all the good conversations. Tags: , , , ,

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Gordon said...

Thanks for the JBWR update and path clearing Andrew.

Vaughn said...

This is cool!