I hadn't been to Jamaica Bay in the daytime since May. Despite not having
current information on the East Pond water level, I figured it was time to
go to JBWR - so long as I had a backup plan (like learning to identify
goldenrods to species). And anyway, I could still check out the Odonata
situation on the pond. So the water is still high, with only a tiny bit of
exposed shore at the south end. At one point, 3 Least Sandpipers occupied
it. Conventional wisdom is that the species is named for being the world's
smallest shorebird. But another theory is that it needs the least amount of
shoreline. Other shorebirds were only a few Yellowlegs of both species, with
a  little water no problem for their long legs. Not that there weren't good
birds. 3 Caspian Terns flew over me, continuing southward away from the
pond. And a Purple Martin paid a surprise visit.


As for the Odonata, I found a male Needham's Skimmer holding territory on
the pond - the first time I've seen that since before Sandy. A bunch of Blue
Dashers and Eastern Pondhawks were present, and even an Eastern Amberwing.
One Pondhawk was seen laying eggs. The point here (to placate those that
don't care about dragonflies) is that this suggests to me that the pond is
at its lowest salinity since before Sandy. So something positive from all
the rain.  One can only hope that there'll be more when the waters finally


There was one other thing that I wanted to check out -- the under
construction Sunset Cove Park in Broad Channel (where the Burrowing Owl
was). On a spring visit there, there were hundreds of shorebirds present.
And that was the case again today. The cove itself might prove to be a good
feeding spot, but at the stage of the tide that I was there, they were all
roosting within the fenced in area (where hard to see). Id's were only
possible on birds flying in or out (mostly the two Semis). I'd bet against
that being a viable roosting spot when the park eventually opens to the
public. Hopefully, the East Pond becomes a more reliable high tide refuge by


Steve Walter

Bayside, NY  




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