Thursday, August 14, 2014

More Shorebirding! - 10 Aug 2014

After successfully documenting the Ruff in the SE corner of the Vermet Unit I headed toward Cell 3 to do a bit of shorebirding. I wanted to play more with the Nikon 1 V3 attached to the 300/2.8 VRII and 1.7TCIII.

As I rode up I spotted the Peregrine Falcon sitting in the middle of the mud flats and trying to rest while Caspian and Forster's Terns screamed at it from overhead.  I had time to get off the bike and set up the camera on the gimbal head.  I even managed a composite image of the falcon taking off.

There were no shorebirds near the west shoreline, so I hiked down and set up behind the dredge pipe along the bank.  I sat, and waited. Waited. Waited.  It wouldn't be another 45 minutes before a pair of Lesser Yellowlegs wandered in my direction.

An adult and juvenile bird worked the water's edge toward me, and I started grabbing images as fast as I could.  They were moving fast, but I managed quite a few sharp images w/ the V3.

At one point the juvenile paused, cocked its head, and made me realize that it had just spotted me.  It continued foraging un-phased.

They flew off, but a few minutes later a flock of Black-bellied Plovers flew across and landed about 100' away.  Six birds! A pair of Stilt Sandpipers were among them, so I took a few long-distance photos.

I then put the scope back on and just enjoyed watching shorebirds at a distance.  A large flock of Semipalmated Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs were working the north edge of the Cell, but would not come closer.  I did not see the Willet or Avocets that were reported earlier.

As I was getting up to leave I spotted a cute juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird sitting in the middle of the trail.  The all-brown bird was somewhat difficult to ID as it looks much like a juvenile Indigo Bunting. But the bill is a bit thicker, and a hint of a buffy eye-arc tilted me in the direction of a cowbird. With no adults around I assumed that it was probably waiting for a Yellow Warbler parent or Common Yellowthroat to come feed it...

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