Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bon Portage shorebirds

Other than seabirds, rarities and the occasional good passerine migration day, our main bird entertainment on BP was the shorebirds. Southern Nova Scotia is pretty awesome for shorebirds, and although BP doesn't get the same numbers as Cape Sable Island (10km away) does, it still gets a lot more than I normally see in Ontario! Although, I don't normally spend every day monitoring good shorebird habitat...

Here's a list of the shorebirds we saw this fall (27sp), with numbers and some photos.

American Oystercatcher - 2
Black-bellied Plover - 134
American Golden-Plover - 29
Semipalmated Plover - 1989

Killdeer - 21
Spotted Sandpiper - 128
Solitary Sandpiper - 14

Greater Yellowlegs - 90

Lesser (left) and Greater (right)

Willet - 10

Lesser Yellowlegs - 182
Whimbrel - 46
Hudsonian Godwit - 1
Ruddy Turnstone - 369

Red Knot - 8

Sanderling - 88
Dunlin - 226

Baird's Sandpiper - 2

with some White-rumps and a Dunlin

Least Sandpiper - 1696

White-rumped Sandpiper - 234

adult (left) and a juvenile (middle) with a Semipalmated Plover

Buff-breasted Sandpiper - 3
Pectoral Sandpiper - 94

Semipalmated Sandpiper - 5673

Short-billed Dowitcher - 482

Long-billed Dowitcher - 1
Wilson's Snipe - 20

American Woodcock - 5

Red Phalarope - 9

The Whimbrel were especially nice to see (and hear) on an almost daily basis in early September, some flew right over our heads but I unfortunately didn't get any pics! Here are some more general shorebird shots.

Part of a flock of Semipalmated Sandpipers in the Minas Basin (near Wolfville) in mid-August when a few of us went to watch them being banded

Can you pick out the Leasts with the Semi's?

A big hindrance to photography was the fog - also most of the shorebirds were at the north end of the island which is a bit of a trek!

The kelp at the north end was a major attractant for shorebirds as they fed on the bugs that were eating the decaying kelp - can you spot all the birds in this pic?

Typical scene at the kelp

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