Date: 8/31/17 6:00 pm From: <BFisher928...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Thursday shorebirds - Chautauqua center dike and N Globe
Stan Z and I got to the center dike relatively early on Thursday. Only a few close shorebirds in the N pool but good numbers and variety in the S pool at Chautauqua. The S pool highlights, 3 close Marbled Godwits and a Whimbrel (my 1st ever at Chautauqua). As Stan and I watched it, it took flight and actually flew closer to us before landing again. Frustratingly, most of the S Pool shorebirds were too far S to be identifiable from the center dike. We tried to find other, closer viewing spots along the road heading S, even walking to the observation platform on the trail by the refuge headquarters, but had no luck with getting a closer vantage point.
We need to persuade the refuge manager to set up a viewing area on the E side of the S pool, somewhere S of the center dike, Eagle Bluff access. I also intend to ask that they cut down those weed trees growing up in front of the Eagle Bluff viewing platform
After lunch in Havana, we headed to the N Globe access via Ridge Rd. This pool is mostly dry, but had water and a good number of shorebirds near the E side, highlighted by a couple of Willets and a lone Hudsonian Godwit. Black-necked Stilts were present in numbers. We were able to walk out quite far on the dried mudflats from the W side, getting much closer to the birds as a result. We tried but failed to find any Buff-breasteds, but did find a distant Reeve, standing next to a L Yellowlegs, making for a good comparison of the Reeve's thick yellow orange legs, short thick yellowish bill, fat bodied appearance and those stick up scapulars vs the yellowlegs. Could this be the same bird as was in S Globe 2 almost 2 weeks ago?
Back to the center dike in early afternoon, viewing S was hopeless because of the sun angle, but more shorebirds were using the mudflats just N of the center dike than had been there in the AM. Highlights included a lone juvie Red Knot at close range, methodically foraging among the ducks, and at least 7 Red-necked Phalaropes feeding actively in the now shrunken pools of deeper water. I wonder how much longer the phalaropes will hang around, when the N pool dries out further.
Non shorebird highlights - a Snowy Egret at N Globe, and 2 non-breeding adult Franklin's Gulls in the N pool at Chautauqua.