Early Friday afternoon, I took my camera, scope, and binoculars with me to the slough across the road from our house. I was hoping to find some shorebirds feeding in the reeds and along the mudflats.
As I got close to the mudflats, I could see two American Avocets, three Killdeer, a flock of Long-billed Dowitchers, eight Lesser and five Greater Yellowlegs. I set up my scope and was looking closely at A large flock of Long-billed Dowitchers, when [as I was looking at them I noticed nine birds that looked different. I then realized that those nine birds were Stilt Sandpipers. I also was able to find two Willets, six Wilson’s Phalaropes, and seven Least Sandpipers.
I spent almost an hour looking at the shorebirds and the various ducks on the slough, but had to get home as my mom and I were leaving for town to deliver eggs.
Upon our return, I walked back out to the slough, but this time I walked through the woods to the east end of the slough. There were very few birds in the woods, but I saw my “first of season” Least Flycatcher feeding at the top of some poplars.
When I walked out of the woods I could see that there were more dowitchers feeding on the north side of the slough. I looked through my scope and was able to see very clearly more than 20 Red-necked Phalaropes feeding with the dowitchers, and also a pair of Cinnamon Teals. I then looked to the left and saw two avocet-sized birds with bright pink legs, and a black-and-white body — the birds were Black-necked Stilts! I’ve seen Black-necked Stilts on this slough before, but they’re not very common for this area, so I was so happy to see these beautiful birds again.
I wasn’t able to get any decent photos of the Black-necked Stilts or Red-necked Phalaropes as they were too far away and the light was very low.
In total, I was able to find 12 species of shorebirds on Friday: American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Willet, Stilt Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Least Sandpiper, and Solitary Sandpiper.
Least Sandpipers preening,
Two Willets and a Lesser Yellowlegs,
A female Wilson’s Phalarope,
Long-billed Dowitchers and Stilt Sandpipers,
American Avocet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitchers, and Stilt Sandpipers,