Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jamaica Bay, August 7th

My first foray into NYC for fall migration corresponded to a morning high tide at Jamaica Bay WR where I was interested mainly in shorebird photography and not pushing my luck with elevated temperatures.

The East Pond had moderate levels of exposed mud which were still quite wet and not all that green yet at the south end. Apparently at the north end it's still quite muddy, but the forecast looks generally dry so the odds are that it will draw down yet further.

Shorebird diversity was modest, but then again I didn't go even as far as the Raunt. Semipalmated Sandpiper (adults only) was the most numerous, Semipalmated Plover (adults), Least Sandpiper (adults+juveniles), Lesser Yellowlegs (juveniles) and Short-billed Dowitcher (adults+juveniles) were around. There was a good tern showing: Forster's, Common, Least and juvenile Black. There was also a good selection of herons: Great Blue Heron; Great Egret; Snowy Egret; Tricolored Heron; Green Heron; Yellow-crowned and Black-crowned Night Herons (Yellow-crowned being particularly numerous). Boat-tailed Grackles were in predictably heavy molt. The best bird was a distant look at the American White Pelican which has lingered here and remarkably not my first one at Jamaica Bay. Over on the West Pond nothing much was happening although I did add Spotted Sandpiper, American Oystercatcher and Greater Yellowlegs. Diversity should increase as the month draws on, although more widely-ranging birders had more luck than me with the less common shorebird species.

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