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.