Monday, July 30, 2012

Western Sandpiper

On Saturday morning I was out of town, but Barry Noret was birding Lake Creek Trail. He found at least two Western Sandpipers among about a hundred Least Sandpipers along the trail. Western Sandpiper is a species I've never seen in the neighborhood, so I tried to find them this evening but failed. Despite the heat, fall migration has started for these species and many other shorebirds. It's a good time to find them in the patches of mud and very shallow water at various spots on the creek. There is also an increased number of Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, and Great Blue Herons. Some of these large wading birds might be heading south, but I think the increased numbers are mostly due to post-breeding wandering. It's a neat time to get out and bird the trail. Most of the birds I saw this evening were in the Parmer Village pond, by the demo homes. The water level is low, exposing some muddy habitat for the shorebirds and shallow water habitat for the herons and egrets.

Here's Barry's photo showing two Least Sandpipers in the middle and one Western Sandpiper at each end. Click on the photo to see some notes I added to the right Western.

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