Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Big Day Part Four: The Mudflats and Wetlands

Links to previous Big Day posts: Prairie, Drive, and Forests.
With our species count at 102, we headed for Palmetto Meadows and Valley Water Mill to pick up some shorebirds. We were not disappointed at the gathering on FR 166. Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and one peep that is still haunting me. All photos except the Common Yellowthroat courtesy of Marvin DeJong.
I wanted to call it a Western due to its slight downturned bill, but my confidence on that species is lacking, and I searched for reinforcement from birding companions. Unfortunately, I was unable to help the others lock onto the bird in question before the entire flock took to flight. The Wilson's Phalaropes, however, were easy to identify and fun to watch.After surveying the shorebirds and warblers on FR166, we headed to Valley Water Mill, which had been drained for trail construction. Charley and I took a short trail that was hot! We picked up Lincoln's Sparrow, Palm Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, and I caught this Common Yellowthroat in the brush. We saw the yellow breast and belly of a secretive warbler in thick brush, and I caught the glimpse of a black collar/necklace, or something of the sort. So, I believe that it was the Hooded or Canada that got away for lack of a better look.We watched the Great Egret feeding before heading to Springfield to observe a Cooper's Hawk on the nest, and a Yellow-crowned Night Heron on the nest. Stopped by Lake Springfield toward the end of the day and picked up Double-crested Cormorant, Tree Swallow, and Cliff Swallow.

All in all, a very successful and fun day was had by all. 125 species: a new personal Big Day record. You just can't beat the month of May!


marvin d said...

It was a great day, but man was I tired at the end of it. We had to get up a little too early in the morning to get to the prairie.

N8 said...

Some day! Wish I'd been there...