Monday, May 10, 2010

White Pelicans, shorebirds, etc. May 10

Monday, May 10: Some of the attention today shifted away from warblers and toward waterbirds. At Metzger Marsh, 9 American White Pelicans were being seen from the second pullout along the road. From the parking lot at the end of the road at Metzger, looking south from the dike, birders were seeing Black Terns and Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

Meanwhile, at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, the shorebirding was excellent at the Entrance Pool. To reach this site, turn in to the refuge main entrance from Route 2; and instead of going west to the visitors' center, loop around to go straight north. The Entrance Pool will be along the right (east) side of this road. It stretches for at least half a mile north, and today most of the shorebirds were in the northern part of the pool, where there is very shallow water and extensive exposed mudflats. Highlights included at least 3 White-rumped Sandpipers, 5 Pectoral Sandpipers, 1 Short-billed Dowitcher (of the prairie race, hendersoni, and in bright breeding plumage), at least 9 Solitary Sandpipers, 30 Lesser Yellowlegs, 60 Dunlins, 15 Least Sandpipers, 12 Semipalmated Plovers, etc. A telescope is very useful for birding this area, and the light is much better in the afternoon than in the morning when you're looking into the sun. But this spot seems to be having constant turnover now, so if you're birding in the area, it would be worthwhile to check it more than once.

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