This morning, I birded both the East and West ponds at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (JBWR) in Queens Co.
Given the recent heavy rains, I was anxious to see the effects on the East Pond. My suspicions were right. Almost all of the exposed flats on the south end is now under water. Long legged waders will continue to do well but the peeps will be hard pressed to find sizable open shoreline to feed. NPS, is aware of the situation and will continue to drain the pond at full throttle. If we have a few days of no rain and good drainage we might be able to get back on track. It’s a real shame given the efforts this year by the Refuge staff in getting the pond ready for the shorebird season. We were right on target and that is the only reason why it is not a complete washout. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a dry spell. Now onto the birds. Not many shorebirds on the pond to look at. From those present, I had the following highlights. White-rumped Sandpiper (4) and Stilt Sandpiper (5) Still no Western Sandpipers as yet - at least for me. More juvenile shorebirds are starting to arrive. Today’s juvie numbers included: Juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher (3) Juvenile Greater Yellowlegs (2) Juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs (6) Juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper (2) Juvenile Least Sandpiper (5) Juvenile Black-bellied Plover (3) Among the duckage, 3 Green-winged Teals and 1 Wood Duck were the notables. A large number of juvenile Gulls continue on the pond, mostly Laughing with juvenile Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. Among the Gull flock I picked out a CASPIAN TERN - just about that time when one would show up on the pond. The two Bonaparte’s Gulls continue, spending their time up at the north end while I was there. A sizable number of American Oystercatchers continue to loaf near the Raunt at high tide. Today’s count was 57. Other notables included a pair of COMMON RAVENS. First heard when I headed up north and then heard and seen when heading back south a few hours later. An adult SNOW GOOSE, continue on the pond having been reported a few days ago. Its presence seems ominous given the status of the shorebird season (waterfowl season could wait thank you). Over at the West Pond, the south east corner did not host as many shorebirds as seen recently. No Stilt or Pectoral Sandpipers for me there today. However, I did add a shorebird species for the day - a lone Ruddy Turnstone among the 100 + Semipalmated Sandpipers. The pond edges did not host much else in terms of shorebirds. If you plan on visiting the East Pond, knee high muck boots are a must more so now given the rain. You are not going to get away with hiking boots unless soggy feet with East Pond water is your thing. Finally, NPS management sent me an update late this afternoon verifying that the draining on the East Pond continue at full throttle. Nothing else we could do now but be hopeful. Cheers, -------- "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 Douglass 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! Andrew Baksh www.birdingdude.blogspot.com -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --