Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Eureka! Successful Shorebirding...

Looks beautiful but where are the shorebirds?
Here is the follow up to my "Peregrines are Punks" post.  (Sigh...yeah and I know the meaning of "punk").  As readers may know, I was quite the frustrated birder having crossed the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge from the South End to the North End only to see 1 then 2 Peregrine Falcons spook a bunch of shorebirds, that I wanted to get a closer look at having scoped them from across the pond.

These two culprits spooked the shorebirds.
It was a frigid day and I was under dressed but I was not going to leave without having a chance at studying the flock, so I stubbornly waited it out.  My gamble and a prayer paid off as the birds filtered back onto the pond  and I was able to study them for some time.

Patience paid off as shorebirds began to return to the pond.
It turned out that the mixed flock had some goodies.  Can you tell from the photo what the flock is made up of?  In the end I pulled out 1 WESTERN SANDPIPER, 3 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and a single WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, that were hidden in the flock of DUNLINS.

Can you identify the shorebirds in this photo?

A White-Rumped Sandpiper was a nice surprise.
Birding on the East Pond can be quite rewarding with patience and the time I spent with the flock got even more rewarding as 2 Pectoral Sandpipers dropped in from out of nowhere. I had not seen any on the pond as I made my way up north, so they could have just flown in or were tucked in some corner out of sight. It was nice to add to the diversity; especially since Pecs were scarce all summer. I finally left the East Pond, shivering from the cold but quite happy at being able to study the shorebirds. In a show of appreciation, I said a silent thank you to the shorebirds for being cooperative and to the Peregrines for not disturbing me :)

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