Monday, October 27, 2014

Birding Trip

Yesterday a friend and I went on a day's birding trip.  Our first stop was at the 2 lagoons in Salisbury.  Stilt Sandpipers had been reported there but we did not find them.  But what we found was spectacular.  The number of waterfowl there was outstanding.  There was a huge flock of NORTHERN SHOVELERS.  A low estimate was 300.  We had never seen so many shovelers in one place before.  

Northern Shovelers

There was also a large number of Mallards (150), mostly males.  This large accumulation of waterfowl (along with other species) made for wonderful viewing.

American Wigeon
We also found an AMERICAN COOT and a NORTHERN PINTAIL which are uncommon.

American Coot

Northern Pintail Female
At Sackville we visited the large fields between the road and the river and after careful searching found a HUDSONIAN GODWIT with a flock of PECTORAL SANDPIPERS.  Shorebirds stop in this area to feed and renew their fat stores before continuing their migration south.  Large flocks of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS were reported from this area but we found only 4.  

Pectoral Sandpiper

There was a lot of activity at the Waterfowl Park.  Most species were present in moderate numbers.  We were interested in the shorebirds that have been roosting there and found GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS and 1 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER.  The boardwalk took us close to where they were roosting, affording good views.  Also of note were another AMERICAN COOT, 3 PIED-BILLED GREBES, and a HORNED GREBE.  What a waterfowl bonanza there was there.

Greater Yellowlegs 
Green-winged Teal Female 
Horned Grebe
Sackville Waterfowl Park

At Salisbury we found 2 ICELAND GULLS and 3 more on our return to Fredericton.  Unfortunately that is a sign that winter is coming.  

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