Archive | August 29, 2016

Black-crowned Night-heron at Dusk

Black-crowned Night-heron

Black-crowned Night-heron

On Friday night I decided to make a quick stop at the ponds after dinner. There was a nice mix of shorebirds foraging in the muck on the other side of the channel, and I began to regret not taking the car over so I could bring my scope. About 10 Killdeer were present, as usual, but one Greater Yellowlegs, one Semipalmated Plover, one Semipalmated Sandpiper, and about five Least Sandpipers were spread out along the water’s edge. Another small shorebird caught my attention, a little bit larger than the peeps with a light brown head contrasting with the neat scalloped pattern of its grayish-brown back. It had dark legs, a straight, dark bill, and the barest hint of a pale supercilium. It was the contrasting light brown head that made me think “Baird’s Sandpiper”, and despite the low light and the distance I took enough photos to confirm one of the key field marks: the wingtips were longer than its tail. This was the first Baird’s Sandpiper I had seen here – an amazing find!

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