Here are a few Highlights:
Hammonasset Beach SP, May 21- I made a quick stop in the Park since I was in the area (had to make a quick run to West Marine for epoxy). There wasn't much around, but this single Short-billed Dowitcher (one of my top favorite Shorebird species) was feeding in Meigs Pond.......
........until the Willet came and chased it off; but it only flew a few yards away!
After a few days of rain, and more rain being forecasted for Thursday, I woke up and discovered a beautiful sunrise! A quick check of the weather showed that rain was still in the forecast but that sun was too inviting! I decided to try for a few hours of Shorebirding, hopefully the rain would hold.....and it did!
Milford Point, from 8:00 am to 10:30 am- The tide was very low with the flats well exposed all the way to the high stones. The steamer clam flats near the low stones on Pompey's Bar (a name we called it because we used to dig steamer clams there many, many years ago)...in fact there are so many soft-shelled clams there you will actually get soaking wet from the clam spouts as you walk over the flats!
(From a very respectible and safe distance) the two Piping Plover could be seen sitting on their nests safely within the security enclosures. Thankfully with a long camera lens and the ability to zoom and crop the images, you can see and appreciate the birds in these images:
A little re-adjustment. The Plover turned the eggs and then settled in again. You can see the bird opening its breast and abdomen feathers exposing its "brooding patch"....if you look closely, you can see a white and black speckled egg underneath.
The second incubating bird- can you find it?
Here's a hint!
Besides the two incubating birds, there were five additional Piping Plovers on the sandbars and flats; I photographed each one:
There were five Oystercatchers on the bar/flats and high stones:
A few Snowy Egrets and an occassional Glossy Ibis-
The flats were quiet at first, with only a few scattered Least Sandpipers-
Then as if someone had turned on a switch; flocks of Shorebirds began arriving-
The flocks consisted of Black-bellied Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, Semi-palmated Plover and Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher and a few Red Knot.
Dunlin and Short-billed Dowitcher-
(Close-up of the texture of the carapace)
Incoming Semi-palmated Sandpiper and Black-bellied Plover
A Black-bellied Plover and a pair of Red Knot with the Short-billed Dowitcher
The Shorebirds moved around constantly; from the marsh to the low sand bar where I was.
(A pair of Red Knot in the flock -above image and below)
Mixed flock with all the species mentioned (except Spotted Sandpiper and Willet)
......and Ruddy Turnstones.
Black-bellied Plover, Semi-palmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher and Ruddy Turnstones-
(The bird is located center-right in the small space-grayer in plumage)