Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

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  A Trio of Willets at Woodlawn

Published: August 18, 2019
Tags: Rarities, willet

The day after the Orchard Orioles, I was thrilled to find a couple of groups of Willets - eight at Times Beach with Shelley while she and I ran into each other and were paused to chat at the center marsh - and then another group of three at Woodlawn Beach.  Since the first group only gave Shelley and I a quick view, I parted company with her and headed out on my own to re-find them.  Eventually, I stopped at Woodlawn.

When I began my search at the beach, I started waaaaaaay down at the north end and, after a good amount of searching, I came up empty.  I made my way over to the creek area where I was able to scan some of the beach towards the south.  Using my bins, I saw some shapes that weren't gulls and looked a lot like taller shorebirds.  I took some more distant photos and sure enough, enlarging them in the viewfinder of my camera, I could see they were definitely Willets - yay!  Since I had missed getting any photos of the Times Beach birds, I dragged myself way over to that end (easily a 20 minute endeavor) hoping all the way that they were still there. 

As I got close enough to make out the birds - although still distant - an ATV driven by park personnel came zooming along the beach!  I was sure they'd flush the Willets so I quickly grabbed some more long distance photos of them just to ensure I had this great sighting documented.  Oddly, the ATV pulled up very close to them and I could see the men were puzzled by the birds - but the birds didn't flush!  Eventually, the driver drove back up the beach towards me where I got the chance to explain what a neat and rare sighting this was.  I'm not sure they really appreciated the birds as much as I did but at least the Willet remained and all was good.

At that point, I wearily sat down on a log and waited as the trio slowly started coming towards me, picking at possible food items here and there along the water's edge.  Here are a few photos of those fantastic birds...

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Close up of the trio!

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Walking along the shore

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For a few minutes, they were right in front of me - maybe 8 feet away at the most!

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What an awesome and fun sighting!

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Taking off after a boater came up to shore - they were flanked on either side by the boat and another birder, TJ, and myself. They probably felt threatened and alas, flew off to the south and out of sight...

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