Date: 7/29/17 4:59 pm
From: Nate Dias (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: R-N Phalaropes, 19 Wilson's Phalaropes, 125 Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish Egret, Black Terns, W. Pelicans - Yawkey Wildlife Center
Two Red-necked Phalaropes were a surprise among 19 Wilson's Phalaropes
during a shorebird survey I did at the Yawkey Wildlife Center
(restricted access) today. There were several thousand individual
shorebirds and 17 species. It was nice to see dozens of
almost-breeding plumage Stilt Sandpipers and many of the Short-billed
Dowitchers were still in high alternate plumage. Yet the American
Avocets had already lost most of their color.

It was windy as heck when I had the Phalarope encounter in a massive
semi-drained impoundment (Wheeler Basin) on South Island. I shot some
video but the tripod was shaking as badly as the nearby Live Oaks.
One of the Red-necked Phalaropes vocalized a few times - a single note
"clip" call.

Some photos of the Phalaropes including a couple of comparison shots
are on my Flickr page (click thumbnails for larger images):

I also saw a somewhat early Yellow Warbler in some shrubs on a dike
beside Winyah Bay.

It was good to see 40+ Black Terns roosting in a drained ricefield - a
couple were still in good nick. And lots of Least Terns were roosting
on bare mudflats. Other good birds included a Barn Owl, several Least
Bitterns, a small Bobwhite covey I inadvertently flushed, King and
Clapper Rails, multiple flocks of American White Pelicans, a juvenile
Red Egret, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Red-cockaded Woodpeckers,
Mottled Ducks, Glossy Ibis, Gull-billed Terns, Bald Eagle, Red-headed
Woodpeckers, and usual suspects like Eastern Wood-Pewees, Summer
Tanagers, Brown-headed Nutchatches, etc.

One of my favorite sightings of the day was a family of three River
Otters crossing the road from one swampy patch to another. They
paused and tussled in the road a bit which was nice.

Looks like shorebird migration is picking up.

Nathan Dias - Charleston, SC
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