Date: 5/5/18 8:39 pm From: Paul Conover <zoiseaux...> Subject: [LABIRD-L] LOS Shorebirding Field Trip
The LOS shorebird field trip today had excellent weather, a great group, and some great sights and sightings. The trip started out in Jennings this morning with cool north winds and lightly overcast skies that were excellent for shorebird viewing. We worked our way south with a lot of east and west side-turns down quiet country roads, looking for shorebird fields. With changes in rice culture, the muddy open fields full of birds that used to be commonplace have become amazingly scarce, replaced by precision-planted fields that birds can tuck themselves away in. However, we did luck onto a nice pasture with displaying Buff-breasted Sandpipers, another field with a good comparison of alternate-plumage Golden and Black-bellied plovers, and a few fields that offered small numbers of birds but great looks. We also got in a few nice non-shorebird stops, including a scenic Cave Swallow nesting colony in the middle of miles of rice fields.
Our last shorebird stop was the shorebird spectacle on Rutherford Beach Road that others have been posting or eBirding about for a week or so, an expanse of mudflats densely speckled with thousands of shorebirds composed largely of Stilt Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, and Wilson's Phalarope. The numbers were unbelievable, and the looks up close and in optimum light.
When the sun finally came out the temperature rose quickly, so we retired to the shade of Willow Island to look for migrant songbirds. Migrant action was slow, but what migrants were there showed off well.