Wednesday, 29 August 2012

There's No Birding Like Shore Birding...

...There's no birding I know.  Every Sandpiper is terrific.   Every little Plover is divine.

But picking out individuals from masses of Killdeer and other ubiquitous shorebirds is not always an easy task.  Not to sound speciest, but a lot of them look alike.  As such, I have failed miserably on some occasions and have, on others, found the bird in question within a couple of minutes of my arrival, after hours of driving.

Today, at the West Perth Wetlands, I had to take my time and scan each and every bird on the mudflats.  Within a very reasonable half hour of searching, after having spotted a Baird's Sandpiper and a large handful of American Golden Plovers, I found the Hudsonian Godwit I had come to see.  I got to watch it feed for quite some time until all the birds flushed at once, due to some unseen menace, and then within minutes settled back in, though I did not see the Godwit after that.

It was a perfect day to have a day off from working at the CNE, and lovely drive out to Perth.  I enjoyed a leisurely day, slowly passing through Stratford on my way, and eating my baloney sandwich at the picnic table in the parking area of the wetlands.  I almost didn't make it today, as last night suffered through the passing of yet another kidney stone.  It wasn't the worst one I have ever passed,(and I have passed quite a few, believe me), but it wasn't a walk in the park either.

So, with August drawing to a close, it was a bonus to add 3 birds today.  I am sure there was a Pectoral Sandpiper somewhere in the mix, but I couldn't spot it.  Just too many birds and not enough time or shorebird savvy to identify all of them.   Perhaps with the help of my New Jersey birding friends next week, I will add to my growing shorebird knowledge.  Until then, I am happy to have made it just a little closer to my revised goal of 500 species for 2012.  I was thinking that 572 would be a nice number to finish with.  That was the number of species Roger Tory Peterson reported at the end of 1953, the year of Wild America and the very first Big Year.

And once again, thanks to OntBirds for the reports.  I couldn't have gotten this far without them.  So glad, though, that I had seen a Thick-billed Kingbird in Arizona, as I didn't have time to drive to both Perth and Prequile and still have make it home for dinner.

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