Monday, May 03, 2010

A beautiful, shorebirdy day!

Being such a beautiful day, Ashley and I stopped by East Fork State Park's south beach in Bantam today for some birding. We got a later than I wanted to start, ending up getting there at 2pm. The water was up from the recent rains, so no beach was exposed, just grass. There were quite a few people sunbathing and swimming, so I wasn't expecting much.
Getting out of the car, all I could see were a couple of Ring-billed Gulls and a crow. Some movement caught my eye, and right in front of us a Spotted Sandpiper flew up and out over the water. It started calling, and quickly returned to take perch on a log right in front of us. It posed and gave a look like "look at me, I'm looking at you".

This Spotted Sandpiper is not nearly as intimidating as the mean lookin' Brown Thrasher.

I scanned the shoreline and approximately 50 foot in front of a couple sunbathing, were 12 Willets! They were right in front of us practically and I didn't even notice them. I went back to the car and got the camera. The sunbathing couple gave us an odd look, but didn't say anything when they found out what we were looking at.

We were able to get good looks at them fairly close up. They did not seem at all concerned with us or the closer sunbathers. Then a guy with a dog came up and let the dog off the leash (arrrgghh!!). The birds got antsy and flew out over the lake, calling and circling.

Love those Willet wings!


  1. Nice one. do these migrate to the arctic coming on June, july etc.
    Our Australian shorebirds go to Alaska, siberia, etc.


  2. Willets don't. They breed in the southern parts of Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and south into the states in N and S Dakota and to Nevada. I think they also breed along the coasts.

    Spotted Sandpipers breed in the states, there are records from here in SW Ohio where I am located.

  3. those wings have a beautiful design, great pics