Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shorebird Bonanza and Hawk of the Night

Look for the Dowitchers just behind and to the right of the goose.
     Today was a very productive day for me, birding in Van Buren County. The flooded field on 38th Avenue, about 2 miles east of 46th Street, repaid all my careful checking in spades today with a shorebird bonanza. The three Short-billed Dowitchers I reported this morning multiplied to at least 15 by this evening. There were 8 to 10 Semipalmated Plovers, 12 or more Lesser Yellowlegs, a couple of Spotted Sandpipers, 6 or 8 Least Sandpipers, around ten Solitary Sandpipers, Green-winged Teal, Sandhill Cranes, Wood Ducks, and a lone Savannah Sparrow running around with the Least Sandpipers and looking very odd!
One of a few Semipalmated Sandpipers
Solitary Sandpiper looks for supper.

     I also stopped by Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery briefly today. A Green Heron flushed from one of the first ponds and offered nice looks. A Willow Flycatcher was singing from the edge of the same pond. The Common Goldeneye male still lingers, and pops up on ebird as rare at this date.
     Brigg's Pond has also picked up a few shorebirds, solitary and least, as far as I could see, but there is quite a bit of grass on the sandbar to conceal them.
      The Common Nighthawk peenting overhead in the yard this evening added species number 107 to my yard list and is number 198 for Van Buren County. The dowitcher was number 197 for the county, so all in all, a pretty productive day. Best wishes to all for a terrific birdathon and for the remainder of the spring birding season!
Some of the fifteen short-billed dowitchers present this evening.

FYI - This Monday's walk at Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery will be at the usual time - 9 am. However, there will be no walk the following Monday, which is Memorial Day.


  1. Wow! Sounds like a mob scene.


  2. There were a bunch of birds out there. I am sure I missed some, where they get behind the little rise in front of the second wet spot in the back.