Sunday, August 18, 2013

Arcadia shorebirds and egrets along the rail trail

White rumped Sandpiper (R) with Lesser Yellowlegs (L), Arcadia, Aug 18, 2013
Lesser Yellowlegs, Arcadia, Aug 18, 2013
Killdeer, Arcadia, Aug 18, 2013
Solitary Sandpiper, Arcadia, Aug 18, 2013
I decided to try my luck finding shorebirds over at Arcadia this morning and I was not disappointed. I arrived there just after 6 and Steve Motyl was already there. A very nice selection of shorebirds on the mudflats including a White rumped Sandpiper, a Semipalmated Sandpiper, a couple Solitary Sandpipers, a Spotted Sandpiper, 21 Least Sandpipers, six Lesser Yellowlegs and seven Killdeer. I attempted several times to get good photos of the White rumped Sandpiper but the best of the bunch is still not great at showing the field marks to ID the bird.  The bird was larger than the other peeps present with long wings crossing behind the tail, an obvious white supercilium, and streaking on the sides of the belly.  Seven species of shorebirds is not too bad for a small area inland on a nice weather day. The best part is that one of the species, the White rumped Sandpiper, was new for the year in Hampshire County making it species #217.  A handful of Wood Ducks, Mallards and Canada Geese were the only waterfowl around. A pair of adult Bald Eagles chased each other back and forth over the oxbow and a pair of Cooper's Hawks were flying around the fields on my way out.  A brief stop at the Ibis Pool didn't produce anything unusual but the area looks prime for sparrows in the coming months.
Great Egrets, Rail trail-Amherst, Aug 18, 2013
Great Egrets, Rail trail-Amherst, Aug 18, 2013
I stopped at the rail trail in Amherst on my way home and walked out to Hop Brook where I had three Great Egrets plus a few Green Herons and a Great Blue Heron. Also had a couple Least Sandpipers, a Killdeer and an American Woodcock that I flushed from right along the busy rail trail.  A total of eight shorebirds for the morning made me quite happy.

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