Tag Archives: shorebirds

Hawaiian Shirt Shorebird Safari

semi-palmated plover

You are not really here to see shorebirds are you?  C’mon, fess up.  You want to see birders in Hawaiian shirts. Well, I’ll get to that.

I first heard about the Hawaiian Shirt Shorebird Safari back in June when I attended the Bloggers who Blog, Tweet and Chirp outing.  I was chatting with Laura about birds, birding, our cats, and trips she has led; when she mentioned this crazy thing they do with the Brookline Bird Club.   They all wear Hawaiian shirts and leis while scouring South Beach for shorebirds in migration.  I instantly fell in love with the idea and resolved to go.

I drove up the day before and spent the night with Laura and Mark. We had to be at the meeting place at 8:30 am; the boat to South Beach left at 9.  (We used Rip Ryder in Chatham $25.00.)  As soon as we arrived, it was obvious this was not your usual birding trip.

birders meet-up

While Laura checked on the boat, Mark put out the box of leis.  I was wearing a cobalt blue shirt with hibiscus flowers and macaws on it.  Pretty snazzy, huh.  A multi-colored lei just added to the chaos.  The trip across to the spit was uneventful.  As we were wading to shore, a shouted “Whimbrel!”  made us all look up.  Nice.  On shore, scope legs were quickly slid out and the real business of the day began.

birders in Hawaiian shirts

There were Semi-palmated Plovers, Sanderlings, Short-billed Dowitchers, and a few Red Knots.

Redknot

There were hundreds maybe even thousands of Terns including a few fly-by Roseates. There were Herring, Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls.

Birders in Hawaiian shirts

There was as a Ruddy Turnstone determined to dig a hole to China in search of sand worms.

Turnstone in a hole

Can you see it there in the bottom left?

We birded sitting,

sitting

and standing.

dave

There were a lot of shorebirds, we ended up with 51 species. The Godwits put on quite the show.

hudsonian godwit

Big aloha thank you to Laura

beebzz

and Mark

Mark

Dude, Mass birders so rock.  For more birds and less birders check out Picus Blog.

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Travel

Bird Photography Weekly

ruddy-turnstone

I am having a uber-weird iphoto crisis with my IMAC, so let me offer you a Ruddy Turnstone that I happened to have stashed on my desktop.  I took this a few weeks ago while I was walking on the jetty at Barnegat Light.  Even in their winter plumage, you tell at a glance what this is.  Have you ever seen them actually flipping stones?  It is the coolest thing.

Check out all of the other birds at Birdfreak’s Bird Photography Weekly.

9 Comments

Filed under Photos

Birding Jamaica Bay

Having heard stories of how wonderful birding was and then reading about the recent rarities being reported on the ListServ; when I saw the notice about the Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival, I decided to go. I even convinced a few friends to go too.

Never having been to the refuge, of course we got lost, arriving an hour late. Oy. After dashing in to get the trail permits, we found the small group of festival birders was just moving off to another location when we finally got to the East Pond. We birded East Pond as far around as we could, but since the water was pretty high in places; we didn’t follow the trail all the way around. (If you go, knee-high waterproof boots are key. We didn’t know.) There were small flocks of sandpipers, dowitchers and plovers frantically feeding along the water’s edge fluttering off as we approached to resume chowing down when we were past. Whole families of Mute Swans lounged trailside; no protective hissing and flapping like the ones on my lake. Terns plunged into the still green water and overhead a Peregrine Falcon folded its wings diving at an Osprey. As I watched a Gull-billed Tern wing past, a Blue-winged Teal came flying over my head to settle on the water at the end of the pond. (I just love ducks.) We crossed the street to bird the West Pond behind the Visitor’s Center too. In the end, we came away with 30 species. I got no life birds, but one of my friends did. She was happy.

While I can see that it could be a very birdy location, it was not what I expected. I thought there would be loads of birds and birders. Not so. The participants were few and many of the birds had moved on. It was a better day at Brigantine and according to an email even the marsh by me was full of birds that day. Sigh. But that is how it goes. You just never know. That is the ups and downs of birding. Maybe the Meadowlands festival will be better.

3 Comments

Filed under festival, migration, Travel

Shorebird Migration

I saw a Greater Yellowlegs at the Liberty Loop at the Wallkill a few days ago.  Migration is starting.  Shorebirds are starting to move down from the north and are on a beach or lake or marsh near you.  Go check it out and let me know what is happening.  The Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival in Queens, NY is next Sunday.  I’m going to pop over with friends to check it out.

1 Comment

Filed under migration