Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Piping Plover! - 27 July 2009

Don and Robyn Henise found a Piping Plover this morning in the Long Pond Unit at Pt. Mouillee SGA. They relayed the news to Scott Jennex, who in turn notified the rest of us. It was quitting time, and I decided to make a quick run down to the Moo to look for the bird.
I parked at Mouillee Creek and headed up the Middle Causeway toward the junction of Long Pond, Lead and Vermet Units. An Indigo Bunting and Swamp Sparrow tempted me w/ perch-posing, but I continued on. I met up w/ Sean Bachman and Tex Wells, who were walking the path ahead of me.

As I arrived at my destination I spotted a pair of juvenile Bald Eagles along the sand spit in the Vermet Unit. As I got off the bike I heard a 'ker-wip' call and immediately spotted the Piping Plover in the Long Pond Unit right where it was reported earlier. As soon as I raised my binoculars it took off and headed north along the shoreline.

About half-way to the North Causeway I relocated it feeding alongside several Killdeer. My view of the pale bird was blocked by the phragmites along the near shore, so I took a few photos of a Lesser Yellowlegs that was feeding the open nearby. The plover then reappeared and started moving in my direction. I did my best to digiscope it but had trouble tracking the constantly-moving bird and the blowing afternoon winds.

Sean and Tex soon arrived and we all shared great looks at the bird that gradually worked its way back to the southeast corner. I took a card-full of digiscoped images and photos w/ the D300 and hoped that a couple keepers would result. I was happy to get a half-dozen keepers out of the several hundred images.

At 4:37 pm the bird stretched it wings, then flew into the middle of Vermet Unit and disappeared behind a row of cattails. I happily grabbed my gear, and headed home for dinner.

A great bird, and a nice opportunity to meet fellow birders Sean, Tex and late-arrival Kevin Welsh.

1 comment:

Jeff Schultz said...

NICE! I'm also jealous :-) I so hope we can catch one another for some photography!!

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