All, We had nice group of birders this morning Sunday August 11th for the first of several shorebird walks at Montezuma along the dike between Knox-Marsellus and Puddler's Marsh. We had between 20 and 25 people. The weather was perfect: low humidity, a light breeze and few insect issues. The habitat is improving for shorebirds near the dike but farther out there is a lot of low vegetation and shallow water with only a few muddy areas within low vegetation. Water levels are still a bit high but continue to slowly fall. I suspect the next 2-3 weeks there were be even more habitat which times nice with peak shorebird migration for our area.
My ebird list is here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S58911735 If you want me to share this list with you, send me your email. Also if you have photos and accept this list, feel free to upload them. I have quite a few species on this list that I heard in the woods by Towpath and also in the woods by the beginning. This list likely is not all inclusive either. More details are below. Right off the bat we got lucky as a whole flock of shorebirds landed right in front of us on the muddy areas at the very beginning of the canal. Among this flock were 7 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, PECTORAL, LEAST, SEMIPALMATED, SPOTTED and SOLITARY SANDPIPERS. Both species of yellowlegs were present along with KILLDEER and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. A WILSON'S SNIPE was also nearby making 11 species! Many with close views. These birds lasted long enough for most to get on but then took off. Later the group was re-found farther out within muddy areas in the vegetation. I saw them in flight and was more certain on the number of white-rumps I also had a flyover DOWITCHER that I couldn't ID to the species level. This bird flew toward Puddler's Marsh and dropped out of sight. That made 12 species of shorebirds. But there was many other birds which made the trip special today. The shear number of waders was impressive. Over 100 GREAT BLUE HERONS and over 100 GREAT EGRETS were counted. We also had at least 10 GREEN HERONS. There were 2 LEAST BITTERNS seen, and 2 AMERICAN BITTERNS as well as many BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS. One of the LEAST BITTERNs was in a lone patch of reeds not far from the dike giving many excellent views. Also impressive was the number and diversity of waterfowl. MALLARDS, BLACK DUCK, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GADWALL, WOOD DUCK, AMERICAN WIGEON, BLUE and GREEN WINGED TEAL, RUDDY DUCK, REDHEADS, CANVASBACK, HOODED MERGANSERS, CANADA GEESE and TRUMPETER SWANS rounds out the waterfowl. SANDHILL CRANES also put on a show flying by and croaking several times. We had 12 of this species. We had a close encounter with a NORTHERN HARRIER which was coarsing very low over the dike close to us. There were brief views of a VIRGINIA RAIL. We also had impressive numbers of PIED BILLED GREBES with 117 counted! I would like to thank all who participated this morning and for sharing your scopes and expertise with everyone. Also thanks to Andrea Van Beusichem and Linda Ziemba at the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge for allowing these walks. As the other Dave N just emailed, the next shorebird walk will be this coming Saturday August 17th. Dave Nutter and Bob McGuire will be leading. Meeting time is 7 am at the Montezuma Visitors center. See Dave Nutter's email for more details. Best, Dave Nicosia -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/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/ --