19 May 2013

BEST of Spring 2013: SHOREBIRDS/WADERS (April-May)

Here is a gallery of the best photos I managed this spring of shorebirds/waders, taken in a short stint on the Upper Texas Coast around High Island, and a longer period in NW Ohio around Magee Marsh/Ottawa NWR. I had very little shorebirding time on the Upper Texas Coast, as I arrived, post-Vietnam, in late April, by which time great numbers of the birds have already moved north. However, I did pick up a superb female Wilson's Phalarope on my first morning there, picking insects off the glassy surface of a pool with its elegant and delicate bill. 

The same pool also held a number of Stilt Sandpipers ranging in plumage from dull and grey to some chestnut-cheeked breeding adults, making for quite a supporting cast to the phalarope which stole most of my attention that day.

A few forays down the Bolivar Peninsula as part of our volunteer walks with Houston Audubon Society, saw us find some "bricked-up" Red Knots, as well as some super confiding Semi-palmated Sandpipers, among many other interesting shorebirds. 

In Ohio, although I had much longer to explore, the shorebirding, of course, cannot compete with the huge diversity of the Upper Texas Coast, but still provided some thrills and spills, not least a breeding plumage male Ruff at Ottawa NWR (no photos for me though!), with its splendid ruff daubed in black and chestnut; and the splendid, bright shiny new, Boss Unit of Ottawa NWR provided up close and personal Solitary Sandpipers to cause my camera to work overtime.

And, I have not even mentioned another shorebird, which was one of my BIRDS OF SPRING 2013...American Woodcock. A BEST OF WOODCOCK gallery to come next, before I post a huge gallery of the very best songbirds of spring 2013...keep checking here!

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