The Shorebird Migration is On
It's tough to go out in this heat but shorebirds are showing up in many locations. Some species have shown up at Orchard Beach. It would be nice to have a repeat of Puddle Birds at Orchard Beach. I will continue to check and send out an email to everyone if it materializes. Jamaica Bay has always been a great place for shorebirds, but right now the East Pond is flooded and there aren't enough exposed mudflats for the birds to land and feed. With all of the wet weather, lowering the water level will be more difficult. The annual NYC Audubon Shorebird Festival will be virtual. http://www.nycaudubon.org
A Semipalmated Plover at Orchard Beach in August.
A Solitary Sandpiper in a muddy area near the Orchard Beach Oval in August.
A wandering juvenile Great Blue Heron on Orchard Beach in the early morning.
A Forester's Tern over the lagoon in June.
A Pectoral Sandpiper at Orchard Beach in 2017.
A mix of shorebirds coming for a landing.
An Eastern Kingbird at Turtle Cove in August.
A Least Sandpiper at Orchard Beach in 2017.
All photos and text by Jack Rothman. All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.Copyright 2020
Birds have finished nesting and many are waiting for the correct winds to begin their southward migration. This won't happen for most songbirds here until September or October. So most birds are staying out of the heat, avoiding predators and biding their time. For us, it's a difficult time to be a birder. That's because the birds are doing their best not to be seen or heard. It's best to go out close to shore for wading birds and shorebirds. If you can get out early, there are many Long Island locations that may be active. To find out, go to ebird.org and look for Explore and then Hotspots. You can type in various locations and find out what is being seen. Don't forget to check the tides.
The current administration is proposing to abolish protections for birds. This law currently protects more than 1000 species. Many vulnerable species would be become further endangered if this proposal comes to pass. Industry already kills between 450 thousand-1.1 billion birds per year in North America. Abolishing the law that protects them would be truly devastating.
For more information-
City Island Birds was created in 2007 to bring birders, and would be birders, to the park. Everyone has always been welcomed. Our walks are always friendly, non-competitive and fun. We all love to see great birds, but without each other, it's never as enjoyable.
Two Short-billed Dowagers feeding at Orchard Beach.
Bird Protections to Be Abolished
When Will Our Walks Resume?
Everyone Will Always Be Welcomed
We were originally having walks every Sunday from April through June, in Pelham Bay Park. When Covid 19 began to threaten, Joe and I were the first to suspend walks. Things are beginning to normalize a bit and I'm hoping it will be safe to be together by the fall migration. I'm guessing we would have to limit the number of birders on the walks, because our trails are narrow. We will have to wait and see how things develop. I really miss our walks and seeing everyone.
Eastern Kingbird at Turtle Cove in July.
What are Songbirds Doing in August?
Where Else To Shorebird in August
It's always best to check ebird before you leave, but here are some places to look for shorebirds besides our beach:The East Pond of Jamaica Bay if the Pond is lowered. Check ebird.org (see above-August Birding)
Plumb Beach, Brooklyn, NY
Nickerson Beach, Lido Beach- *
Jones Beach- Babylon, NY
Marine Nature Study- Oceanside, NY
Richard DeKorte- Lyndehurst, NJ
*arrive before 8am or pay $25 fee!