Good Migratory Shorebirding = Poor Blogging

I know I have dramatically slowed down on my blogging and thankfully it’s for good reasons and nothing personal.  Shorebird migration is in full swing and it takes me a full hour to get out to where the shorebirds are in the sod fields.  I try to squeak in all the time I can before having to return home to get ready for work.  It is wonderful working the 3pm-11pm shift and it allows me to bird most mornings and the only sacrifice is only getting 5-6 hours of sleep.  When I get home from birding my choice is eat and take a nap or editing pictures and blogging and napping has been winning out lately.

Migration has been generally right on schedule.  The bird density seems to be increasing every time I get out and it is really great seeing 100’s and 100’s of shorebirds in one area.  I was pretty confident that I would pick up a number of new birds and I did get two more this weekend.

Pectoral Sandpiper … This is the 197th species of bird that I have photographed in Palm Beach County Florida this year!!!

Pectoral Sandpiper is a good-looking shorebird that tends to stay by itself, usually not wading to far from shore.  Many of the birds are here in large numbers with 100’s of Least, Semi-palmated and Western Sandpipers.  Many 100’s of Stilt Sandpipers with tons of Short-billed Dowitchers and a few Long-billed thrown in just to confuse the issue!  This is the only time of the year to see this species, so it is kind of special.

Western Sandpiper … Is #198 for the year!!!

Western Sandpipers are here in fairly good numbers and having all three of the small peeps around at the same time allows for close study of these frequently confusing little guys.  One of the other nice things about the sod fields is how still the water usually is which makes for some nice reflections.  I really have a ton of pictures to edit and I’ll do an entire post of reflective images.

American Avocet … Hanging out with some friends!

American Avocet … Showing his uniquely curved bill.

There has been an American Avocet hanging out this week.  This is certainly one of the more interesting and beautiful shorebirds and hopefully some of his friends will join him soon.

Black Skimmer

I never think of Black Skimmers being away from the beach but there is a group of 50 or so hanging out at the back of the fields on Browns Farm Road.  I have a number of other nice shots of this cool looking fellow.

Semi-palmated Sandpipers … Showing their field marks well.  The Black legs and short straight bill are both easily seen.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Because of the number of birds present and their jumpiness, there are many opportunities for flight shots.

I have so much more to share from the past week and hope to be able to post a little more frequently.  Thank you for visiting … I do appreciate it! 





About sheriffsmith

I have worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office the last 13 years and spend most of my free time birdwatching / naturewatching and photographing the birds and nature that I encounter. I believe God has blessed us with a world that is so absolutely fascinating and wonderful and I'm doing my best to discover and show others all that he has provided us with in nature.
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6 Responses to Good Migratory Shorebirding = Poor Blogging

  1. newbiebird says:

    Very nice!

  2. marksackler says:

    I’m impressed you can identify them, let alone get great shots.

  3. mike585 says:

    Beautiful images, Tom. 🙂

  4. Deb Platt says:

    So is having flooded fields normal for this time of year? It’s been so dry here…

    Loved your photos. What a treat migration is for us humans.

    • sheriffsmith says:

      We are in our rainy season with lots of afternoon showers and t-showers but the fields are actually flooded by the farmers on purpose to kill nematodes. They pump water in from the canals after clearing the fields making a perfect habitat for the migrating birds!! Tom

  5. Great shots, & congrats on 197 & 198, Tom! You really have an amazing eye in bird sightings, and a perfect area for the migratories. I’m always eager to see your new posts to see what you’ve seen last! 🙂

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