Sunday, July 13, 2014

Jamaica Bay East Pond Shorebird Report 7-13-2014

While much of the west side on the north end of the East Pond at Jamaica Bay remains under water, adequate shoreline has developed on the south end and much of the east side of the pond. The exposed shoreline is just in time for hungry migrants as evidenced by the influx of new shorebirds I counted today on the pond.

Altogether, there were 10 species of shorebirds American Oystercatcher, Semipalmated Plover*, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Stilt Sandpiper*, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper* and Short-billed Dowitcher .  Asterisk indicates a new arrival for the season according to my observations.

In summary, here are the notable changes in numbers since I last checked on Friday. As expected, Short-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus griseus) saw the biggest increase and my count was 1100, this was followed by Semipalmated Sandpiper - where there was zero on Friday, today there were at least 100 (with one flagged SESA)Least Sandpiper, also saw an increase in number with 50 today, including my very first flagged Least (I was excited over this as though I had found a rare species). In addition to SESA being new, 1 each of Stilt Sandpiper and Semipalmated Plover were also new arrivals.

Other notable birds on the pond include the continuing 2 Greater Scaup (male and female), several Little Blue Herons and probably the best bird of the day, besides the banded Least. A Bonaparte's Gull that was hiding among Laughing Gulls.

I refer to a post from last year, where I outlined the changes to the pond and how to bird the area keeping these changes in mind.  Unless you plan to wait until there is dried out shoreline for sneaker use (yes, there are folks out there...though there is nothing wrong with that), I highly recommend knee high wader boots to bird the East Pond.  I will keep posting shorebird reports on the blog, so keep checking to get the latest news on shorebird movements on the pond.

I cannot end this post without a reminder, that this coming Thursday, GNRA (Gateway National Recreation Area) will be holding a public scoping session at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitors' Center from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This meeting will be to solicit public opinion for an Environmental Assessment (EA) of several designs with regards to the restoration of the West Pond. It is VERY important that the birding community is well represented in numbers at this event. I hope to be there and see many of you in attendance as well!

Also, the online petition calling for the restoration of the West Pond, which will be an IMPORTANT attribute to the input process, continue to add signatures. If you have procrastinated, there is still time. Do it now and sign on to make a difference! A big thank you to all those who are doing what they could to help us see the goal of 7500 signatures.  I want to especially recognize the efforts of Ann Lazarus, Doug Futuyma, Takeo and Louise Fraza for all their work in sponsoring ads and recruiting others to sign up and sponsor an ad.

Sponsoring an ad for the petition at allows the petition to be sent to potential signers from the database.  I have sponsored ads a few times already and seen the results. An ad could be as little 10 dollars so please take a look if you are interested.

Tags: , , , , Share with Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Kyu said...

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for this post, it is super helpful. I actually went out to the South End on Saturday morning and had a great turnout with many Yellowlegs, Dowitchers and Sandpipers. I wish I had spotted the Bonaparte's! I am wondering though, I walked out only to the second cut wearing Teva-like shoes and shorts and I see that you recommend waders. Am I unnecessarily endangering myself in some way?

Much appreciated,