Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Field Trip & Influx Of Birds At The Meadows

  Last week we had a field trip at Wangunk Meadows. It was pouring rain when I arrived at the meeting place so I was surprised to see that 6 other birders showed up. We waited for the rain to pass by. We were rewarded for our patience as the rain soon stopped and the sun broke through the clouds. We weren't able to bird the entire area because of the muddy conditions. Instead we concentrated on the areas near the fairgroundsand skating pond.The birders in the photo include members of Mattabeseck and Hartford Audubon. They have their binoculars focused on 4 Great Egrets and a Great Blue Heron across the way.
  One of the highlights of the morning was watching a dozen or so Eastern Bluebirds traveling back and forth between power lines and fence posts. Everyone seems to love seeing bluebirds, espceially on  a sunny day. There were Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers in this area as well.
  I've been seeing yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers, and Solitary Sandpipers at the fairgrounds but this sandpiper  was unfamiliar to me. I'd never seen one before but did notice the white eyebrow marking and slightly down-curved bill. We sent in a photo for identification and found out that it was a Stilt Sandpiper (thanks to Greg Hanisek).
 I've noticed Killdeer are curious and will often walk towards my vehicle when I talk to them.
  Later in the week I was ready to move on to try other places but made a quick check of the meadows again. It seemed there was no reason to waste gas driving somewhere else because more birds had moved into the area. I came across a flock of about 40 or so American Pipit.
  The number and variety of sparrows allso increased since our field trip. I found a couple of Lincoln's Sparrows and lots of Swamp Sparrows including the one in the above photo.
Pectoral Sandpipers have been hanging around the area for a few weeks now.
With all the food available in the area I wasn't surprised to see a Northern Harrier show up. This juvenile bird seems to be admiring the white patch on its rump.
click to play
Here's a short clip of the harrier coming in for a landing and then taking flight again.


eileeninmd said...

Great birds and a wonderful day of birding. Your photos are wonderful. I love the Sandpipers and the bluebirds and the hawk is cool. Happy Birding!

Chris said...

Hi Larry,
What a beautiful palette of birds. We got one lost pectoral sandpiper over here but none of the others ;-)

Jen Sanford said...

Haha, I love the line about the harrier admiring its own white patch... Laughed out loud!

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, wow, wow, and wow! That stilt sandpiper is amazing. I am still befuddled by all these shore birds but I am working n learning how to I.D. them. Hope I get to finally meet you this weekend. I am heading to CT tomorrow.

Larry said...

Eileen-thanks=glad you liked the photos.

Chris-I'm sure you've made the lost pectoral feel welcomed.

Jen-It really does look that way doesn't it?

I'll be at the event.Shorebirds is a dragged out learning process for me because I don't put much time or patience into it-Nice to see them land practically in my backyard though!

Ruth said...

Your pictures get better and better. I like watching Northern Harriers flying low over fields but I have never been able to capture them with my camera. You did a great job on the video.

John said...

Looks like my king of park. Love the picture of the "beaver tree."