Friday, June 2, 2017

Hello, June: Prospect to Plumb

     Is it really June? It felt like we barely had spring (it felt like it never got warm and it rained through May) and it's like, WHAM: JUNE! Perhaps May feels like a blur because it went by so fast as it was so busy for me at work, I birded a lot before/after/in between where ever I could.
     Walking around Prospect yesterday after work reminded me that it was June, it was so damn quiet. Spring migration is over, and the flurry of excitement has died down in the park and shifted to the shore. Plumb beach can be a great place to see birds, so this morning I woke up, packed up, and got out before work to visit Plumb Beach.
     It was worth the visit this morning because I felt good about identifying my first white-rumped sandpiper and the beach was literally crawling with peeps!
Mute swans holding down the fort in Prospect... 5 new cygnets hatched last week. Aren't there enough?!

Speaking of invasives... Red Eared Slider. I saw 2 painted turtles among the hordes of RES.

A common grackle along the lake. I really saw not a whole lot in Prospect, highlight was an American Coot that has lingered here since winter.

Not a common grackle, standing taller, larger, longer more splayed tail-- a boat-tailed grackle on Plumb Beach this morning. 
Stoked to identify a sandpiper that isn't a semipalmated, spotted, solitary or least.... this is a white-rumped sandpiper! Slightly larger than the semipalmated, with wingtips that extend past the tail and some defining white over the eyes. They also have alot more spotting on neck.

When at rest, the wings are much longer on the white-rumped sandpiper that they even cross over.

Did I mention the beach was CRAWLING with peeps???

In flight... there is a shot-billed dowitcher mixed into this group!

In flight... there is a dunlin mixed into this group!

A lone semi-palmated sandpiper in the marsh, where I was hoping to see...

This guy! A clapper rail. I really like these guys, maybe it's because in general, I like larger birds. I also like how clumsy they always seem, they remind me a little of myself... This one is walking proud as it just had chased another clapper rail out of its little area in the grasses.

The rails were loud this morning, lots of kek-kek-kek-kek-keking!

As the morning wears on this happens at Plumb Beach. This off leash dog was deliberately chasing birds, while owner walked the beach without a care. Land that is owned by National Parks is surely not treated like it... 

Semi-palmated sandpipers-- note how wingtips and tail end at the same length!

So, how many white-rumped sandpipers do you see here? A few is an acceptable answer ;)

Remember that dunlin, mixed in the flock.. well here it is! An easy to ID shorebird with that black belly when in breeding plumage. And honestly, quite handsome!

A semipalmated sandpiper for the road. This morning taught me I can pack my bike bag decently with camera, binoculars, lunch, and gym outfit + sneakers... so that was also a decent win.

Happy June, hope those of you with shorebirds nearby are enjoying!