New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Thursday, October 24, 2013

September and October Highlights 2- "Long-billed Dowitcher"-

     September 19, Westport, Buryinghill Beach- The morning started out with a spectacular sunrise complimented by light ghostly sea smoke and this silhouetted Great Egret>

    I decided to start my morning at Buryinghill to see the annual adult Lesser Black-backed Gull which makes the beach its winter home. The Gull was found and reported a few days ago by Tina Green which as it turns out was a few days early from the previous years appearance. More Great Egrets arrive and join the first one>

     A Laughing Gull flies by, backlit by the orange eastern sky>

    Down the shore to the east in the small cove by the seawall was the Lesser Black-backed Gull>

       I sat on a small boulder and watched and photographed the Gull for half an hour....

 the Gull fed in the shallows along the edge. When I left the Gull was still hunting the shoreline>

     A few Black-crowned Night-Herons feeding in the small creek at Southport Beach>

     I made a short stop looking for Shorebirds at Long Beach Park in Stratford on my way home. No shorebirds, but a few Warblers including this Common Yellowthroat....

     .....and this Yellow Warbler>

       The tide was full high, which was perfect for roosting Shorebirds on the "X-dock" in Bond's Cove at the Stratford Marina. The Long-billed Dowitcher had been seen here recently, and this was my second planned destination this morning hopefully it would still be here. After saying hello to everyone in the office at Stratford Marina, and getting their permission I walked across the yard to X-dock. I was excited to find that the docks were busy with roosting Yellowlegs and Dowitchers>

     Lucky for me, I stopped in the right position by the steel bulkhead to the left of the docks, and the Long-billed Dowitcher was standing directly in front of me>

      Can you find the Long-billed? Since the Dowitchers were all sleeping, it should be a little easier to spot. Besides being just a bit larger....Long-billed Dowitchers when standing and sleeping stand in a more upright posture.............
 is a closer look. It is on the right side of the image just above the Yellowlegs.>

     Yellowlegs continued arriving and landing on the dock>

      The Long-billed woke up for a moment...... more Yellowlegs flew into the dock>

      You can just about always count on a few Night-Herons landing on these pilings in the lagoon such as this immature Yellow-crowned>

     Good comparison shots of the Dowitcher species....Long-billed on the right>

     The Long-billed calls with a short "peep">

      One of three Green Herons across the cove>

     More inbound Yellowlegs flight images. This Greater like all the other arriving Yellowlegs came from up the Housatonic River>

     This morning, there was quite a bit of boatyard activity. Boats were being moved around, stored and shrink wrapped. This often made the birds nervous......

     .....and they would take off. They would often fly into the lagoon....

     .....and then fly out into the River>

     But they would come right back to where they started on the X-dock.>

       I relocated the Long-billed a little farther down the dock (center right)>

     Another boat being moved, and off they go again!>

      This is a beautiful sight.....a flock of  flying Yellowlegs and Dowitchers with the saltmarsh of Nell's Island as a backdrop.>

        They come back once again >

     The trees across the lagoon were filling up with roosting Egrets, Black and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons. >

       Immature Yellow-crowned >

      Adult Yellow-crowned >

      And.....more yard activity >

        The Long-billed is in the center of the image >

       In the group, Long-billed #2 >

      The yard crew began shrink-wrapping a large boat by the X-dock. The load sound of the heat gun really bothered the birds. When they took off this time, quite a bit of time elapsed; I was beginning to think they wouldn't come back. But after ten minutes, here they come. But this time they circled the cove for a long time and were much higher than before. >

      But they did return, although more cautiously! >

     After all the birds landed, they remained quite alert and unsure about the disturbance above in the yard. >

      I found one of the Long-bills. >

      The flock or Yellowlegs were mostly Greater (left), but there were a handful of Lessers as well (right) >

      The birds were still nervous about the loud noise from the heat gun.  I left as some of the birds returned (again)! >

                      September and October Highlights 3- "Looking for a Late Western" continues.....
                                                Click on "Older Posts" below right-