Monday, August 20, 2012

A fall migration surprise!

After striking out on the two Swallow-tailed Kites in Belleview, Ky yesterday, I decided that I was going to bird local today.  I headed out to East Fork State Park south beach first thing in the morning to try and beat the people.  I have seen many good birds on the beach during fall migration.

I must not have arrived there early enough, because ODNR and fishermen were on the beach.  However, I noticed that some shorebirds were running from a couple of the fishermen.  I saw some Least Sandpipers and a Semipalmated Sandpiper.  I also noticed a bigger shorebird that I passed off for a Pectoral Sandpiper.  One of the fisherman asked me if I was watching the Killdeer, and I tried to explain that not all shorebirds are Killdeer.  He remarked "They are different, aren't they".

I went to the other side of the beach to see if anything else was lurking around.  Found a Forster's Tern on a buoy.  I then went back to the shorebird flock and tried to get some pictures since the fishermen had moved on.  I spotted some of the Least Sandpipers.  I stood still, and they walked up to my shoe.

Least Sandpiper

One just kept looking at me.  

I then spotted the bigger shorebird that I originally passed off as a Pectoral, as I was a ways away from it.  I noticed right away the bright orange legs.  Then I noticed the dark sides to the breast and large, spade like bill.  The only shorebird that I have seen with such bright legs was a Ruddy Turnstone.  I have never seen a juvenile Ruddy Turnstone, so I would have to consult a field guide.  

After going back to the car, I came back and got some pics of the bird.  It was a Juvenile Ruddy Turnstone!

I have only seen one two times before, both adults.


The bird then started to walk up to me, starring.

Juvenile Ruddy Turnstone

Here is a stretched wing shot, to help with ID.  Notice the extensive white in wing and the upper tail.

Nice little surprise!  Bring on fall migration!


  1. The staring picture rates a 10! Amazing:)

  2. Nice work Donald! Shorebirding at its finest, way to ID and great shots.

  3. Super shots Donald!