Yesterday I was alerted to six juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers and two Dunlin among the birds visiting the Heckscher puddles. When I arrived, several people with cameras were out of their cars attempting to get photos or get closer looks. These folks were approaching cautiously and slowly, and while the birds did not immediately flush, they were obviously hyper-alert, interfering with their ability to feed, rest and preen in peace.
I was curious about the age of the Dunlins, as they were in a transitional plumage I suspected to be molting juvs. So I returned to the site this morning, where I was very upset to see, not for the first time, photographers in two cars and a truck positioned RIGHT IN THE PUDDLE, practically on top of and surrounding the birds. I decided this would not be a pleasant study and left. I can no longer remain silent on this issue. Folks, where is your common sense, courtesy, and decency? Give these birds a chance! Is your photo more important than the well-being of these migrating birds? Give other birds who may be avoiding this disruption a chance to land and feed or rest as well. And give other birders a chance to see them! Another birder, scoping the birds from great distance, through gaps among the closely gathered vehicles, was completely blocked when the truck, already on top of the birds, was re-positioned to be EVEN CLOSER to the birds. PLEASE - Stay in your cars! Or scope from a distance. PLEASE - Stay out of the main puddles. Especially do not drive up near/onto the grassy berm in the center of the main puddle. Please keep your distance --these long-distance migrants are dropping in to rest and preen and feed, impossible with such pressure on them so constantly. And please have respect for others trying to see the birds. The Dunlin, by the way, are indeed molting juveniles, as confirmed this morning by Shai. Patricia Lindsay Bay Shore -- 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/ --