Thursday, May 7, 2009

Swallow-tailed Kite, Pintails, Stilt Sandpiper

Tom Reed predicted correctly: I finally got a [crushing] look at the Swallow-tailed Kite about a half hour ago as it soared treetop level over Seagrove Avenue, essentially by finding a couple birders that were looking up, which may in fact be the best way for someone to see either kite without relying on luck and extended bouts of scanning. The two birders happened to be Mark Garland and Richard Crossley; Richard was complaining he had too much lens on his camera. The bird had been perched & visible from the hawk watch earlier.

This morning the Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive opposite Two Mile Landing had 5 Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, and a Belted Kingfisher, all potentially important WSB birds. There were 8 Whimbrel on the marsh opposite the ponds, and I just got a report of a Stilt Sandpiper with dowitchers there, which I did not see. Two Bufflehead hens and two Common Loons were in Jarvis Sound, viewed from Two Mile Landing, and a tiny distant island there (at high tide) held roosting shorebirds that included a few Red Knots.

Sunset Lake had 7 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Common Loon. It took some digging to find all the ducks I've mentioned, by the way, and the kingfisher, too. None were immediately visible with binoculars and most were much more findable by careful scoping. A WSB team with multiple scopes would find them faster than a lone birder.

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