Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Shorebirding Report From Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge 7-27 through 7-30

3 American Avocets, a nice East Pond treat.
Following my shorebird survey at Cupsogue Long Island on Friday, I was anticipating the arrival of shorebirds at Jamaica Bay and I was not disappointed as I had a total of 15 species on Sunday the 27th. This was the most diversity on the East Pond, since the shorebird migration got underway. Of note were 2 Long-billed Dowitchers one a hulking female and the other a smaller, presumed male. Both birds were well marked plus it helped that they were talkative and the calls are always the clincher when in doubt of the ID.

Wilson's Phalarope on the East Pond.
Sunday, saw the number of Semipalmated Sandpipers spiking going from 350 to about 2500. There were other increases as well with Short-billed Dowitcher, Semipalmated Plover, Least Sandpiper all increasing. Then on Monday the 28th, we had our first significant shorebird on the pond for the season with 2 American Avocets showing up. That number built to 3 American Avocets on Tuesday the 29th and we also added our first Wilson's Phalarope of the season, the second significant shorebird of the season. In addition, I observed my first juvenile Least Sandpiper, so the juveniles are on their way and we should be seeing more of them.

Western Sandpiper on the East Pond.
However, by today we were down to one American Avocet on the pond.  I did not spend much time looking at the lone Avocet but I would not be surprised if this is an entirely new bird and the three from the 29th all pulled out together.  The number of shorebirds on the pond today were much less than what were recorded over the past few days resulting in a few species leaving the pond.  Stilt Sandpipers have NOT been seen for 2 consecutive days meaning that the few that were on the pond have likely pulled out. Two Pectoral Sandpipers were seen today and they could have been here yesterday. No Western Sandpipers but they could still be around.

The East Pond is a unique place for shorebirds but in case you forgot, the West Pond was too and is the spot where the legendary MEGA RARE Broad-billed Sandpiper showed up. It is just one of the many reasons to get behind the online petition that the Birders Coalition put together.  We must get the WEST POND restored!  The link is here. Please sign up if you have not already and don't forget to spread the word. Do it for the birds and wildlife we love!

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