Sunday, August 7, 2016

Peregrine Shenanigans - 06 Aug 2016

You know that feeling you get when you arrive at your destination and realize that you forgot your scope? I had that feeling today... I decided to soldier on and rely on the Nikon D500 & 300/2.8VRII to record the day's adventures.

I rode out to the junction of Vermet/Humphries/Long Pond Units and scanned the dozens of Caspian Terns and dozens of Great Egrets in the Humphries Unit. When they suddenly flushed I realized that a Peregrine Falcon had just made an appearance. It was a female that decided to make trouble for the roosting birds; swooping and harassing the terns and egrets, and generally making a pest of herself to all those involved.

The Caspian Terns didn't care for the harassment, and proceeded to chase the peregrine for the next 10 minutes. I was bummed that they weren't closer.

After I thought that it had had enough the peregrine went after the nesting Osprey. The size of the larger birds did not seem to phase it one bit.

After it finally moved on I rode out to Cell 3 to check out its status. The mud was still wet, but there was no standing water. Still, there were a dozen Semipalmated Plovers, and another dozen Least Sandpipers. A Baird's Sandpiper may have been among them, but I couldn't tell because of distance (and lack of scope).

I rode back toward Cell 5 and checked out the pond at the extreme northeast corner of the Banana Unit. While the pond still held water it was surrounded by phragmites and held only a pair of Mute Swans. A Belted Kingfisher was the only other highlight.

Shorebirds were scarce; they are most likely concentrated in the Humphries Unit. I did manage to get a few pics of nearby Pectoral Sandpipers.

Eastern Kingbirds were the only other birds close enough for some photos.

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