Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shorebirds and Others at Wastewater Saturday

Of the three hours I spent on the Wastewater properties Saturday morning, most time was spent at the southeast corner of the East Lagoon.  Lighting was perfect, birds were close, and it was like a shorebird laboratory. (eBird numbers posted below are not a complete count of all individuals.)

These pictures of both Yellowlegs species and Solitary Sandpiper are just for-the-record digiscopes with a little grab-and-shoot camera handheld against the eyepiece of my old spotting scope.  If any of the photographers who happened by yesterday will send me some better shots, I'll post them here as well.  Thanks!

Lesser Yellowlegs were the birds-of-the-day at all locations around the lagoons.  In this corner were nine very coooperative Stilt Sandpipers (best views I've ever had of that species), a Solitary Sandpiper, a Greater Yellowlegs foraging next to Lessers for size comparisons, and occasional visits by the 23 Red-necked Phalaropes that were often swimming somewhere on the lagoon when not being panicked occasionally by Turkey Vulture fly-overs.

Wilson's Phalarope, Bonaparte's Gull (but no Little Gull), Pied-billed Grebe (but no Eared Grebe) and Northern Harrier also showed up today.

Other people stopped by the SE corner occasionally including Connie Peoples, Pat Bazany, Tom Beete and his wife, Dan and Rachel Whomever (young birders) and Jim Ponshair (the ultimate old birder).  Thanks to Tom in particular for his expertise and scope sightings of distant species along the south and east edges of the lagoon.  I didn't see Charlie, but be sure to read his post below.

Meanwhile Dan Lockard was at the Wastewater Friday and Saturday and sent several pictures including these of Sanderlings, Eared Grebe and two Great Egrets.

Report to eBird:
Muskegon Wastewater System, Muskegon, US-MI
Aug 24, 2013 8:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 mile(s)

23 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  15
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  1
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  3
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  24
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  1    brown
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  3
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  24
Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)  2
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  2
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)  36
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  6
Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)  2
Stilt Sandpiper (Calidris himantopus)  9
Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus/scolopaceus)  1
Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)  1  
Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)  23    
Bonaparte's Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)  3
gull sp. (Larinae sp.)  100
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  6
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  4
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  100
Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)  1

Thanks to Phil Chu for emailing Aug. 27 to correct the identifications of some of the birds pictured above.  In my original post I had indicated a Stilt Sandpiper in one of the digiscoped photos and Semipalmated Sandpipers in Dan Lockard's photos.  - Ric

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