Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Some serious shorebird migration

We've had quite the display of migrating shorebirds lately, especially at Colyer Lake near State College. On Saturday, we had a big rainstorm and there were literally hundreds of peeps!

Unfortunately, I only had the chance to go and peer through the binocs of others -- I was working and had left my gear at home. Still, I got to see quite a good number of species and in rather large numbers.

Here is the list:
Canada Goose 4
Mallard 6
Great Blue Heron 1
Semipalmated Plover 8
Killdeer 6
American Avocet 1
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Solitary Sandpiper 1
Lesser Yellowlegs 60
Semipalmated Sandpiper 4
Least Sandpiper 2
Pectoral Sandpiper 18
Short-billed Dowitcher 24
Barn Swallow 3
Song Sparrow 2

At one point, a flock of over 100 shorebirds -- mostly the SBDOs -- wheeled overhead and landed. For this area, that many shorebirds was practically a record-setting fallout. Certainly, the SBDOs and the avocet are considered rarities here, which is why I took the detour from work. It was well worth it; the SBDO was lifebird number 300 for me, and I'd seen an American Avocet only once before, in Texas, and it wasn't in breeding plumage. This one was; one of my birding heroes Joe Verica took a photo:
Photo by Joe Verica

Notice all the birds! Pretty awesome. Needless to say, I did NOT ID all those peeps. I confess that Joe shared his eBird list with me and I just edited out the birds I knew I didn't see.

Sadly, the rain cleared up that night and by morning, the birds were gone.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Wow! That must have been exciting! I've never seen an avocet. I guess it's better than if you did bring your own binoculars and there weren't any birds.