The Forbush Bird Club went on their annual trip to Plum Island today and despite the cloudy and rather cold start to the day the sun did manage to come out which made for a very nice day with quite a few awesome birds.
Including this adorable and extremely hyper bird which is a Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
The bird was not at all shy and was all by itself in some marsh grass having a little breakfast as over a dozen or so birders gawked at it. While it was not a coy bird it was indeed an active bird so getting a clear look at it was rather difficult at times due to its constant moving and the tall grass it appeared to like to forage in.
According to my Peterson guide this Sandpiper is a "tame, buffy bird with erect stance, small head, short bill and yellowish legs" and we did indeed get to experience all of that while we were observing it.
Deciding to pose for the camera without the grass in the way!
And my favorite shot that I was lucky enough to get. The white underwings of this bird is one of its more distinct field marks so I so happy I was able to get a record shot of it! Great bird and a life bird for me to boot.
Lookie here folks, my favorite bird of all the Peregrine Falcon! This one is a juvenile and was one of at least two that were seen there. I was wondering for one brief moment if it could have been one of the young from Worcester as I don't see them anymore but the three juvenile Peregrine Falcons from Worcester are all banded with Y-50's and this one was banded with a 77.
So nice to see a Peregrine Falcon perched on a tree instead of a building which is how I am so used to seeing them. In fact, when I first saw the bird I didn't think Peregrine Falcon at all as have never seen them outside of a city so it just didn't click that yes they do indeed venture out in the wild just as they should! ;-)
Scores of birders were able to get a good look at the Peregrine as it flew from the tree and toward the water to try and find a meal.
It would do a circle around the water only to return to the same snag.
It was never successful in getting brunch but it got an A+ for trying!
Shocking though considering there were thousands of Tree Swallows at Plum Island today so it wasn't like birds were scarce!
We were able to get really close to a family of Whimbrel's too, who were so consumed in eating that they didn't seem to mind us getting rather close to them.
In fact, I'm not even sure if they noticed us as birders set up their scopes and talked amongst themselves. I absolutely love the markings on its back and wings as well as the striped crown. Awesome bird to see again after South Beach as I didn't think I would be lucky to see another this year.
Lousy shot of a Gadwall but wanted to post it for a couple of reasons. One, because the picture was able to pick up the white speculum nicely (something Fran was telling us to look for as a distinct field mark) and two, I wanted you to see the Tree Swallows as there were many pictures I took today where they just magically appeared in the picture. There were literally thousands of these birds at Plum Island today so it was hard not to get them in pictures because they were everywhere.
My obligatory picture of a Semipalmated Plover that I always get a picture of whenever I am near shorebirds.
A couple of shots of a Great Egret. There were quite a few of them at Plum Island and they were mixed in with some Snowy Egrets as well.
One of three Greater Yellowlegs we saw near Hellcat.
Check it out all, more Tree Swallows! Seriously, I wonder what the other birds thought of all this activity as they would come in real close to the other birds and they were non-stop. Does it phase the other birds at all or do they get used to it after a couple of hours. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm..............................
Another Greater Yellowlegs shot that I liked
Lastly, since I began this post with a picture of Tree Swallows, I thought I would end it that way too as we too saw them the moment we arrived and they were the last bird we saw when we left!!! Special thanks for John Shea for an awesome trip!!