Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hangin' with my peeps

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Duck and Peep, Spuyten Duyvil Creek

Last weekend, the shorebirds finally showed up at Inwood Hill Park. Following a report by Nathan O'Reilly on Saturday, I went up on Sunday and saw my first peeps of the season.

Peeps--tiny sandpipers about the size of sparrows--are fun to watch skitter along the mudflats or beaches. Sunday I mustly saw Least Sandpipers, like these:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Least Sandpipers, Spuyten Duyvil Creek
the Least of sandpipers

But there were also a couple of Semipalmated Sandpipers--generally grayer and with black instead of yellow/green legs. If you get a close view you can see the partial webbing--thesemipalmation--on their feet, but my views were not so good.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Semipalmated Sandpiper, Spuyten Duyvil Creek
Semi-Palmated on trust

Nathan also had Greater Yellowlegs and a Semipalmated Plover, but those had left by Sunday. I contented myself with a Great Egret, a couple of Great Blue Herons (one of whom was going out of his way to bug the egret), and a charming family of ducks.

There should be plenty of more chances to see shorebirds there between now and about the end of September. Or if you don't mind a bit of wading, you can go out to Jamaica Bay, where they flock by the hundreds or thousands.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Ducklings, Spuyten Duyvil Creek
on your marks! get set! dabble!

Down in Central Park, Fall migration continues to trickle along. I saw a worm-Eating Warbler on Saturday, and a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, both near Warbler Rock in the Ramble.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Central Park

The main warbler in right now is American Redstart--lots of females and immature types.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; American Redstart (juvenile male)
I often wonder if they remember their close encounters with people

Less common birds will be drifting through for a couple of months. There was a sighting of a Golden-Winged Warbler in the North Woods, but nobody saw it but the initial observer as far as I know.

And of course, our resident birds are still around enjoying the pleasant summer weather.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Common Grackle, Central Park
bold grackle

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