I rode toward the NW corner of the Lautenschlager Unit at ~4 pm to look for the Black-necked Stilt that was seen last Saturday, but would not see it. Spotted Sandpipers, three Osprey and a few Great Egrets were the only consolation. The North Causeway was also quiet - I looked for the Snowy Egrets in the NW corner of the Vermet Unit, but came up empty, as well. The Tricolored Heron along the Middle Causeway was also a no-show. The day was beginning to look like my favorite Constellation: The Big Dipper.
I grabbed the scope and started counting the Whimbrel. Two hundred plus! I then grabbed a series of frames w/ the D7100 / 300/2.8VRII / 1.7TCEIII for a panorama.
Time to grab a video w/ the Nikon V3 attached to the Zeiss 85T*Fl and 40X W eyepiece w/ homemade digiscoping adapter. I would later count 208 ± 1 Whimbrel in the video. The panorama produced 232 Whimbrel!
I then headed to the NW corner of Cell 3 where I found another flock of 32 Whimbrel along the edge of the mudflat. Among them were several hundred Dunlin and and a hundred or so Bonaparte's Gulls. Along the north shoreline of the mudflats I spotted 4 Red-necked Phalaropes swimming in the shallows among another several hundred Dunlin!
I spent a few minutes videorecording the Whimbrel and taking a few digiscoped images before heading to the SW corner.
I felt exhilarated having finally caught a large flock of Whimbrel moving north through the area. Hopefully more will pass through in the next few days. In the meantime I'll keep an eye on those reports from Canada...