Date: 8/4/17 6:05 pm
From: Nate Dias (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Wilson's Phalarope, Roseate Spoonbills, Purple Gallinule w/ chicks - Yawkey Wildlife Center (restricted access)
Roger Smith and SC DNRs shorebird guru Felicia Sanders joined me today
for a shorebird survey at the Yawkey Wildlife Center (restricted
access).

The 3.5 inches of rain they received yesterday morning did not help!
The water levels in all the impoundments had risen significantly -
especially those that get a lot of runoff from uplands. So shorebird
numbers and variety were significantly reduced. Wading bird numbers
were still high but down as well from the previous week. And light
rain all morning today made for challenging survey conditions. But we
still enjoyed some nice birding.

We only had one Wilson's Phalarope still present from the previous
week's 19 individuals. No sign of the Red-necked Phalaropes (hardly a
surprise). And for example we went from 100+ Stilt Sandpipers down to
about 60. American Avocet numbers were also greatly reduced - I
suspect they moved out to the bay and are still in the area.
Black-necked Stilt numbers also crashed - they may already be heading
south. We had about the same number of Spotted Sandpipers and more
Solitaries. No Pectorals this week and zero Dunlin again like last
week. Shorebird numbers overall were in the hundreds rather than
thousands.

We did have some large wading bird concentrations and saw a few dozen
Roseate Spoonbills. Also a good flock of American White Pelicans.

One of the neatest sightings was an adult Purple Gallinule with pretty
young chicks - they must have been a very late brood. I am used to
seeing new black fuzzy chicks starting around the 4th of July. So I
expect we will be seeing immature Purple Gallinules there well into
the fall before they head south.

At one point on South Island we had two Clapper Rails and one King
Rail cavorting in front of us on a dike with semi-tall grass and
freshwater puddles. Clapper Rails love bathing in freshwater puddles
when they can find them, to desalinate their feathers (much like gulls
like to bathe in fresh water occasionally).

There were still some Black Terns and Least Terns around - though less
than last week. We also saw our first Caspian Tern of the "fall".
Only a couple of Gull-billed Terns were present.

We also had some mother Wild Turkeys and their class of "middle
school" poults congregating in a field.

Nathan Dias - Charleston, SC
 
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