Sunday, May 17, 2009

Heislerville Shorebird Bonanza

Heislerville again produced a truly impressive number of shorebirds on this evening's high tide. The headliners continued to be two Curlew Sandpipers, which really couldn't have been more cooperative as they fed, at times less than 20 feet from the edge of the northwest corner of the main impoundment. Also of note were at least three or four White-rumped Sandpipers, more often heard than seen, but often very close to the clamshell pull-off area when they were in sight.

It was essentially impossible to put a number on the birds present... the western side of the impoundment was buried in birds- but here are some general estimations that I came up with: 9600 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 5800 Dunlin, 3400 Short-billed Dowitchers, 370 Semipalmated Plovers and 192 Black-bellied Plovers. Also around were about two dozen Red Knots and an impressive flock of over 100 Black Skimmers on the sandspit in the middle of the impoundment.

The American Avocet was reported earlier in the afternoon, but I did not see it during the four hours I was there.

Location: Heislerville WMA
Observation date: 5/17/09
Notes: Estimated numbers during high tide. Male and female Curlew Sandpiper.
Number of species: 44

Canada Goose 6
Mute Swan 2
Mallard 2
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 4
Snowy Egret 3
Green Heron 2
Black-crowned Night-Heron 40
Glossy Ibis 3
Turkey Vulture 1
Osprey 4
Clapper Rail 1
Black-bellied Plover 192
Semipalmated Plover 370
Killdeer 4
Greater Yellowlegs 3
Willet (Eastern) 2
Ruddy Turnstone 8
Red Knot 25
Semipalmated Sandpiper 9600
White-rumped Sandpiper 4
Dunlin 5800
Curlew Sandpiper 2
Short-billed Dowitcher 3400
Laughing Gull 45
Ring-billed Gull 2
Herring Gull 12
Great Black-backed Gull 3
Least Tern 2
Forster's Tern 3
Black Skimmer 130
Mourning Dove 1
Eastern Kingbird 1
Fish Crow 1
Purple Martin 1
Barn Swallow 12
Marsh Wren 1
European Starling 6
Cedar Waxwing 2
Song Sparrow 1
Red-winged Blackbird 8
Boat-tailed Grackle 1
House Sparrow 2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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