I didn't have much daylight left, but there was enough light that I could still take identifiable pictures if I needed to. With all the rain, I figured the beach at East Fork would be fairly empty of people and I was right. There was a vehicle jamming music out on the sand of the the beach, which is not allowed. They quickly left after I got out of the car. I then noticed some larger shorebirds foraging in the grass not far from me.
The bird closest to me appeared bigger than the ones around it. I could not see the head or bill, so I was initially confused.. I looked at the other birds and quickly IDed them as Willets. That is a good bird in Cincinnati, but what is this other bird that is bigger? I needed to get a little closer. Then the bird lifted its head. A Godwit! Now what kind?
It is a good shorebirding day in Ohio when you can get out of your car and see this:
Very odd habitat for both birds, but I have see a lot of good shorebirds in the grass at the beach at East Fork.
A couple who was out walking saw me looking at the birds and asked some questions about them. It was nice to show them the birds. They seemed somewhat interested. Very cool.
The birds spooked and flew to the water's edge on the beach. I love to watch Willets in flight. The Godwit then proved that it was a MARBLED GODWIT when it flew. A very pretty rufous light brown cream color to the wings and underwings. It also vocalized. There was not enough light left for an in flight shot.
I have only seen one Marbled Godwit ever, and it was here at the south beach at East Fork in Sept. of 2007. There are only 10 other records of this bird in the database on the Birding in Cincinnati website.
None of these records are from June, July or August. Pretty early and cool!
It was a funny bird to watch. It was catching worms in the grass and then preening on the beach.
Very funny postures as it fed.
The shorebird stare down never fails me!
And who could forget those lovely Willet wings!
Shorebirding season off to a good start. Bring on the birds!Tweet