This AM I did a shorebird survey on the East Pond, starting just under 1 hour
before high tide.
My survey covered from the south to the north end of the pond. The number of
shorebirds was small, with just about 225 birds in total, made up of 12
species, broken down as follows:
Semipalmated Plover (15 including 3 juveniles)
Stilt Sandpiper (3)
Least Sandpiper (23 including 9 juveniles)
White-rumped Sandpiper (2)
Pectoral Sandpiper (1)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (110 including 11 juveniles)
Short-billed Dowitcher (43 including 2 juveniles)
Spotted Sandpiper (3 all juveniles)
Solitary Sandpiper (1)
Greater Yellowlegs (4)
Lesser Yellowlegs (13 including 9 juveniles)
Non shorebird highlights included a banded Great Egret - one that I had seen a
few weeks ago but then had trouble reading the band. Today, I got it sorted.
5 Northern Shovelers among the duckage. An early sign of waterfowl movement.
Northern Waterthrush (2), another sign of migration.
Regarding the pond condition. The water level still remain high on the north
end. Alas, most of today's shorebirds were all in that area, just past Dead
The pond continues draining but the flow is slow (slow drainage could be
clogging or worse). The draw down of the East Pond remains an area of
frustration as every year, it seems we are in reactive mode instead of
proactive mode. We will of course hear the usual excuses from NPS about the
However with proper management we should never be playing catchup. The problem
is, we have a mindset within NPS who continue to use an outdated East Pond
drawdown plan. That plan needs to be shredded and drawdown dates need be
adjusted to offset climate change and changes in Shorebird migration times.
Additionally, the pond needs to be actively monitored for adequate shoreline.
Ideally, maintenance should be dynamic; staff should be readily available to
make changes to the outflow when necessary. If they are under staffed then
let's get volunteers trained and suited up to get the job done.
I have made these and other suggestions to the management of NPS and will
update the community of any progress.
In the meantime, let us hope for a bit of hot, dry weather along with water
evaporation to aid in the continued water level dropping on the pond.
"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of
others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence." ~ Frederick
風 Swift as the wind
林 Quiet as the forest
火 Conquer like the fire
山 Steady as the mountain
Sun Tzu The Art of War
> (= '.'=)
> (") _ (")
> Sent from somewhere in the field using my mobile device!
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