Monday, May 25, 2015

Whimbrel flight! - 25 May 2015

I made it out to Pt. Mouillee SGA this morning after a month-long hiatus. I parked at Siegler Rd. and saw Scott Terry and Adam Byrne there. I biked the north causeway toward the Long Pond while they drove separately to do their point counts. We stopped along the Nelson Unit when a large flock of Whimbrel appeared to the east and passed overhead to the north. 130 birds!

We would see another 3 flocks totaling another 200+ birds in the next 30 minutes or so while we looked for the Black-necked Stilts that had been observed in days past. Scott found a pair of male birds, but they were far out in the marsh.

I caught up with them at Cell 3 and scoped hundreds of Dunlin, 81 Ruddy Turnstones, and several White-rumped Sandpipers among dozens of Semipalmated Sandpipers and Least Sandpipers. I managed some flight shots of the Ruddy Turnstones (left) as they flushed and flew by. Only a single Whimbrel was seen among the shorebirds - I got a long-distance digiscoped image for record.


Scott and Adam would find 4 Little Gulls among the Bonaparte's Gulls, but I didn't stick around long enough to see them. Instead, I headed back toward the North Causeway and found a pair of Black-necked Stilts close enough to digiscope before they flew off farther into the Long Pond. The one on the right appears to be a female (male on left w/ blacker back).

I would head back to the car and drive by Haggerman Rd. to look for Bobolinks before heading home by 10 am.

1 comment:

Sande said...

Great shots! My husband and I were out there in the evening and also saw quite a few of the whimbrels and dunlin. No stilts though. Are your flying whimbrel photos done with the digiscope?

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