Friday, May 29, 2009

Red Knot @ Pt. Mouillee - 22 May 2009

Friday morning (May 21) David Boon sent me an e-mail that well over 100 Whimbrel were visible on the mudflats at the north end of Cell 3. This report came on the heels of Karl Overman's report, a day earlier, of Whimbrels at Pt. Mouillee. Also seen was a breeding-plumaged Red-necked Phalarope.

I only had a couple of hours Saturday morning so I opted to park at Roberts Rd. and go directly to Cell 3 on bike. I scanned the mudflats but quickly realized that there were no Whimbrels visible. I did see several pair of Black-bellied Plovers among the Dunlin and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Riding to the east side of Cell 3 I spotted a Red Knot far out at the edge of the mud flat.

I managed a couple of "long-distance" digiscoped images of the Knot using the self-timer. Closer to shore I also spotted a Stilt Sandpiper feeding among several Short-billed Dowitchers. This bird was in basic plumage and easily blended w/ the dowitchers.
I then rode to the north shore and attempted to scope the birds to see if I could get any closer. No dice. I did see a pair of White-rumped Sandpipers feeding among several Semipalmated Sandpipers, and the size difference helped verify their ID.
Heading back to the car I stopped at the NW corner and spent some time digiscoping the Dunlin and Semipalmated Sandpipers that fed just a few feet from the dike. I managed a few keepers of both birds, and just before leaving I spotted a single Whimbrel roosting at the edge of the mudflat a hundred yards away.

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