Saturday, August 20, 2011
Of Egrets and Trickling Shorebirds - 13 Aug 2011
I parked at Mouillee Creek this morning and rode up to the Lautenschager Unit where I noticed quite a few Great Egrets milling in very shallow water. The large pond was drying up, and dozens upon dozens of stately white birds were crowded along the entire length. I grabbed the Coolpix P6000 and fired off several frames so that I could generate a panorama of the birds. Once generated, I went through a counted 310 Great Egrets (I had originally estimated 400 from cluster-counting...). I found a few Greater Yellowlegs foraging among dozens of Killdeer, and a few Pectoral Sandpipers, but missed seeing the Wilson's Snipe that were later reported by the Oakland Audubon Society folks (they were here on tour). I did see a juvenile Snowy Egret among the Great Egrets (it was significantly smaller with a black bill and yellow-striped black legs).
I met up w/ Tom again, and we looked for the ibises again in the Long Pond Unit, but failed to find anything. Recent rains really pushed the vegetation skyward, so visibility was relatively poor. I headed back to the car and got home by noon. Hopefully the shorebirds will show up enmass before the week is out.