Refuge staff worked to drain Knox-Marsellus marsh of the rain which accumulated this week, but despite the effort the water today was so high that there was no mud, and the shallows were mostly among weeds. With considerable effort we were able to see Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs separately in K-M Marsh, and with good luck we also saw them flying together, although it appeared that some were leaving headed south. We also had very close looks at a juvenile plumage Spotted Sandpiper who stood on the pipe in the NE corner of the K-M Marsh while we on the adjacent dike. We found no other shorebirds. However I understand that this coming Saturday, 25 August, Dave Nicosia plans to do another shorebird walk, and meanwhile efforts to bring water levels down should continue while more shorebirds migrate into the area. After today’s walk I checked the Wildlife Drive and found a few shorebirds at Benning Marsh, including at least one Greater Yellowlegs, several Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 Least Sandpipers, and 4 adult Dowitchers.
Despite the paucity of shorebirds, our group of 16 birders had a pleasant walk in comfortable temperatures, under clouds and occasional very light rain. Highlights included: A trio of Trumpeter Swans who spent the day at K-M, sometimes joined by the single who has been there previous days. This trio frequently gave double-noted clarinet-like calls (I think the species was mis-named), which were new to some birders. Various eclipse plumage dabblers, including Wood Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, and American Wigeon. An Osprey who caught a fish very close to us. A Peregrine Falcon who repeatedly strafed K-M on 2 occasions rousing many of the birds. An adult Bald Eagle who also hunted in K-M, again raising a cloud of birds, while we were by Puddler. Northern Harriers hunting over K-M, Puddler, and areas to the NE, including female, male, and immature plumages. The continuing immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron who flew past us from Puddler toward K-M, a life bird for some. I stayed late and refound it in K-M. Immature and adult Black-crowned Night-Herons were more obvious. At least 22 Great Egrets. Winter-plumage Bobolinks calling over head and perched in weeds outside the dikes. All the usual Swallows except Cliff, plus Chimney Swift. There were more mosquitos for them to eat than on past walks. In all I tallied 51 species of birds. - - Dave Nutter -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --