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 recede. 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 then. Steve Walter Bayside, NY -- 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://email@example.com/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/ --