Date: 11/3/17 7:53 pm From: George W Gove <gwgove...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Golden Plover...
Judy and I spent a few days on The Cape, Cape Cod that is. On the last day, Friday Nov 3, 2017, we went in search of Marbled Godwits.
We headed to Chatham and the fog was as thick as pea soup and remained that way until we got to Dennis later in the day. We stopped at Cow Yard but between the fog and the incoming and high tide, there was nothing to look at there so we drove to near the CG station and it was even foggier there. Thence we went west to look for the 4 Marbled Godwits which had been reported previously at a couple of beaches along the Sound. Our first stop was at Forest Beach where they were were last reported. I walked out east along the marsh to Mill Creek, about a half mile, but the fog made it difficult to see much altho I persevered in looking. When I got to the Creek, there was an adult N. Gannet on the rocks and it didn't look well, plus there were shorebirds in the marsh but most looked like BB Plovers. I then walked out on the beach where I saw Sanderlings feeding and there was a plover with them. When I got a good look at the plover, I noticed that it had a thin bill, a line over the ! eye, remnants of black feathers on the belly going up into the undertail, and when it flew its rump was all dark, -- an adult Golden Plover.
I then walked back toward the parking lot continuing to look for godwits to no avail. We then drove to Ridgevale Beach and I walked out on the beach and noticed some large-appearing shorebirds behind the fore dune; they turned out to be plovers and yellowlegs. When I got a little closer, I noticed that one of the plovers looked just like the adult Golden Plover I had seen near Mill Creek -- could there be two? I doubt it, it was probably the same Golden Plover I had seen a Ridgevale as it is a short distance west and birds can fly. I still could not find any godwits and was becoming vexed by them. I went to a few more likely spots looking but the fog was still thick and the tide was getting higher and was forecast to be an extreme high tide, full moon, strong south winds and all, you know. I decided that, after spending two or more hours searching in the fog for the godwits, it was time give it up but not quite. We then drove to Red River Beach in Harwich and were surprised ! to see 100s of gulls of four species on the beach and foraging near the jetties. This is quite a long beach and gulls were all along to the end at Red River but, alas, I could find no godwits of any stripe so I now gave up for sure.