Salutations all,

I am delighted to report that we are almost at our target mark for the East 
Pond water level. We will close the valve upon hitting the target but continue 
monitoring. NPS has received a lot of flack for a number of things related to 
the Refuge. Some legit, some just bollocks. Take a moment when visiting, to let 
the Rangers at the Visitors Center know how happy you are with the condition of 
the East Pond. While those you speak to may not have been involved in the water 
level management, the message will get across and reach the “proper” party.

Now that pond is attracting visitors from far and wide. I feel the need to 
remind folks to please be mindful of your conduct. 

Voices carry and it adds to many of the variables that make birds jumpy. Avoid 
excessive chatting while out there. 
Don’t push the birds around to get photos. 
If a photographer has position, wait or ask to if you could move; don’t barrel 
past and flush the subject (s) as it takes patience and time to get into 
position. The reverse applies when birders are in position before a 
photographer gets on site.
Remember to credit finders for your birds in your checklists, it’s a nice thing 
to do.
For those of you leading walks; be mindful of your party size.
No littering 😡
I could go on but you by now should get my drift. And now for the birds. I will 
only mention highlights. The Hudsonian Godwit, Bonaparte’s Gull, Black-headed 
Gull and White-faced Ibis (1 of 2) continue. The latter getting harder to pick 
out as it is almost in full basic plumage and often times the light makes it 
very tricky. Here is a Digiscoped image taken yesterday for reference.

Gull-billed, Royal and Caspian Terns also continue but not consistent. Recent 
uncommon sightings include Piping Plover and Whimbrel (flyby/flyover). We will 
begin seeing the volume of birds drop off but the diversity will pick up. An 
early Dunlin was observed yesterday and a flock of Sanderlings dropped in for a 

Several Long-billed Dowitchers (LBDO) continue; I noted 4 yesterday. Please be 
wary of Hendersoni subspecies of Short-billed Dowitcher as there are a few in 
play and are often confused with LBDO. A couple of Western Sandpipers also are 
in play but losing their color fast so a keen sorting of the peeps is required. 

Adult and immature Peregrine Falcons have been straffing the pond so be 
prepared for some frustrating moments. I fondly remembered the late Bobby Kurtz 
yesterday as yelled at an immature Peregrine for its shenanigans 😬

The hose is setup near the visitors center to wash up after your visit. Try and 
keep it in the shade as the metal piece on the nozzle will get very hot. 
Lastly, please try and stay hydrated. The pond gets very, very hot. On days 
when there is no breeze it could be very stifling.

Get out there and enjoy the East Pond and the birds. Not since Hurricane Sandy 
has it looked this good.

Happy Shorebird Birding!
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves could free our 
mind.” ~ Bob Marley

“Tenderness and Kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but 
manifestations of strength and resolution” ~ Khalil Gibran

"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! 

Andrew Baksh

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