Karen Holliday and I birded BKNWR Saturday as part of a shorebird monitoring program for national Audubon. Our challenge was to count everything, especially shorebirds, that was using a predetermined 200+ acre area in the national wildlife refuge. We arrived at our area at 8:55 and spent the next three hours scanning the area. The weather was great, sunny, not too hot not too cold, not too windy. The place wasn’t as birdy as it was two weeks ago when we had determined the area of the survey but still we got 40 species including breeding plumage Bonaparte’s Gull (a rarity for me since they are about to leave) and a first of season Semipalmated Sandpiper. The shore birds seen were American Golden-Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Wilson’s Snipe, and the aforementioned Semipalmated Sandpiper.
We then drove down to Saul’s Fish Farm to get another look at the Long-tailed Duck that Karen had identified there last week. That day one week ago it had been 45 degrees and a constant wind and inconstant drizzle. This day it was an order of magnitude nicer, if you could measure nice weather. The duck was there, plus a smattering of other ducks and shorebirds plus 7 first of season Baird’s Sandpiper.