offshorebirder

Show us your shorebirds (waders)

206 posts in this topic

Here are a few sandpipers I had a close encounter with day before yesterday.  They were at a sod farm (turf farm) feeding in puddles and flooded areas after heavy rains.  Sadly the Hudsonian Godwit that was found the day before was no longer present.  

 

Here is a Least Sandpiper - it has not yet fully molted out of its breeding plumage:

 

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Here is a Semipalmated Sandpiper - devilishly similar to Little Stints in nonbreeding (basic) plumage:

 

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It's the first home match of the season for Liverpool  and in an hour I'm off to Anfield to watch.

What could be more appropriate than a Red Knot!!

27120710970_90547d2a6f_b.jpgRed Knot     Iceland by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Stunning photo!

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Here are a couple of posts with shorebird photos from some recent field adventures I had in coastal South Carolina.  

 

This is a pair of Long-billed Curlews (Numenius americanus) - possibly my favorite shorebird.  I saw them at Key Inlet in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge - reachable only by boat.

 

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They are part of the dwindling population that winters along the southeast coast of North America.  During the 1800s, "market gunners" used decoys and arrays of punt guns (giant shotguns) to kill millions of shorebirds to can and sell as food. This led to the eventual extinction of species such as Eskimo Curlew.  Long-billed Curlews that migrated and wintered in the eastern U.S. never recovered and have been in a long slow population slide.   Now there are only a few dozen left that winter in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

 

These Curlews that winter in Cape Romain NWR are the "Last of the Mohicans".   It is down to 3 individuals - a decade ago one could see 10+ of them.   It is a bitterly sad story.

 

Fortunately the population that winters along the Pacific coast of North America is in much better shape, having not been market gunned into a decline.

 

 

Edited by offshorebirder
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On a less bittersweet note, I had a nice close encounter with a Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima) this past Sunday at Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.  It was feeding on exposed rocks on the harbor jetties.

 

Even in basic (winter) plumage, Purple Sandpipers are handsome birds.

 

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This one is pretty large - not sure if Safaritalk will enlarge+display all of it when clicked...

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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Is there anything we will not destroy in our greed? Very sad. Thanks for sharing @offshorebirder.

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