My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Stilt Sandpipers and Shorebirds at INWR

Published May 23, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Stilt Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher, Killdeer, Trumpeter Swan, Eastern Phoebe, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush

Unbeknownst to me, six Stilt Sandpipers were reported at the Cayuga Overlook in Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge today. Celeste Morien came by the overlook to find and record the sandpipers for her weekly count - and we just happened to be in the right place at the right time for a change.  It took a little while, but experienced birders, Celeste and Doug, were able to pick out the Stilt Sandpipers from all the other sandpipers and shorebirds that were on the mudflat. My inexperienced eyes would never have been able to key in on the subtle differences: lighter leg coloration, slightly drooped bill at the end, and chestnut cheeks.

Out on the same mud flat, Celeste found a Black-bellied Plover. Now, that is a bird I could have picked out! He was very different from the others, reminding me somewhat of a Bobolink in the fact that his underside was very black and his top was white. What a cool looking bird! I wish the photos of the shorebirds would have come out better; the distance was just too great to get anything good enough to post.

Today's noteworthy birds also included a Trumpeter Swan (lifer!), 4 Dunlin (lifer!), Semipalmated Plovers and Sandpipers, a Least Sandpiper (lifer!), a Bald Eagle, 3 Osprey, several Northern Waterthrushes, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, 3 Great-crested Flycatchers, and a Willow Flycatcher.

We heard a Yellow-headed Vireo but just couldn't lay our eyes on it. It sang and sang very close to us but remained hidden.  A return trip is required for that one!
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Trumpeter Swan flying overhead
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Trumpeter Swan out on Ringnecked Marsh
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Why did the Great Blue Heron cross the road?
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Bald Eagle
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Tree Swallow
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Song Sparrow with food for its young
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Female American Redstart
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Female American Redstart
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Eastern Phoebe
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Eastern Phoebe