Sunday, August 26, 2007

Parking lot plovers and Long-billed Dowitcher

[Semi-palmated Plover in the parking lot, Cape May Point State Park today. Photo by Don Freiday]
I planned to meet a friend at Cape May Point State Park this morning, and arriving a little early at 6:45 a.m. I noticed some little brown "House Sparrows" foraging in the parking lot. They were only sparrows until they flew ahead of the car, and I thought, gee they have long tails, they look almost like semi-plovers. Which is what they were, 6 of them, wandering the lot and drinking from the puddles.

We walked the park trails, and yup, we found the Baird's Sandpiper again (sorry, Jason!). If you try for the Baird's, make sure you check the southeast corner of Bunker Pond. There's a spot where you walk a bit to the inland side of the first plover pond and there's a break in the bayberry lining the pond, with that wet grassy habitat that Baird's likes so much. While we were watching the Baird's, two Upland Sandpipers flew over, calling.

A Long-billed Dowitcher was very cooperative at the "shorebird island" and penninsula on Bunker Pond, near the hawk watch, posing for a photograph:

[Long-billed Dowitcher, adult well along to winter plumage, with two juvenile Short-billeds in front. Note the Long-billed's rounder body and overall sooty appearance, and that wash of reddish still retained on the undertail coverts. Photo by Don Freiday).

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