Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

North end of East Pond

(Photo credit - Rob J)

There suddenly seems to be an unusual number of Buff-breasted Sandpiper sightings around New York and Long Island. Shane located one at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge while I was out of town. They are categorized within the shorebirds grouping but are sometimes referred to as “grasspipers” due to their preference for grassy habitats. The one at Jamaica Bay is hanging around the edges of the East Pond. The low water level has allowed the Salt-marsh Fleabane to thrive and create a green and pink carpet around the pond. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper has been foraging within this substitute grassland.

Shane was kind enough to drive out with me so that I could catch up with his and Sean's year list. Just as the last two times we visited the East Pond most of the shorebirds were at the north end. We quickly located the relatively tame long-distance traveler. Occasionally he would disappear into the fleabane but was staying mainly to the northeast section of the pond. For whatever reason he seemed to remain in the company of a single Killdeer.

Salt-marsh Fleabane (Pluchea purpurascens)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click to learn more about Salt-marsh Fleabane-

Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

-Click to learn more about Buff-breasted Sandpipers-

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Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, 8/23/2005
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Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Glossy Ibis
Gadwall
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Osprey
Common Moorhen (West Pond.)
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
American Oystercatcher
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (North east corner of East Pond.)
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Least Tern
Eastern Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat
Boat-tailed Grackle

Other common species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

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