[Tweeters] Shorebirds at Eide Rd.
andy_mcc at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 19 10:12:40 PDT 2013
On Sunday afternoon Carol Ray and I drove the the Stanwood area in search of shorebirds hoping to see what the afternoon high tide would bring. We drove around Boe and Thorne Roads and had a nice look at an OSPREY kiting over the river. It seemed that the fields were too dry to support birds other than the BARN SWALLOWS. We went over to English Boom for a lunch break where we enjoyed the PURPLE MARTINS and CASPIAN TERNS. We also met some folks from Pilchuck Audubon who were there to study shorebirds. They suggested we go back to Eide Rd and we're glad we did. The rising tide had evidently moved the birds to these ponds.
At Pond 3 there were upwards of 300 WESTERN SANDPIPERS. At a smaller pond to the south a PECTORAL SANDPIPER was quietly foraging. At Pond 2 both GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS were present along with LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS (I heard their keek-keek call as they flew in front of us). At about 3:30 p.m. three SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS flew in and we were able to share them with Amit Kulkani and his wife. About this time a PEREGRINE FALCON made an attack on the Western Sandpipers. It was exciting for us, but frustrating for the falcon as the sandpipers scattered and it left empty-taloned. A few minutes later Amit repaid our plover sighting and pointed out a LEAST SANDPIPER at the far side of Pond 2. Amit also had seen a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER before we had arrived and we did not see that bird. A NORTHERN HARRIER flew across the marsh to end our afternoon.
Seven species of shorebirds were more than we expected and we appreciate the assistance of others who helped us find them. It was great fun!
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