Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Looking for Shorebirds at Eagle Creek

On Sunday, Eric and I met up with our friends Eric and Clare to look for shorebirds at Eagle Creek. Now it might seem that we are turning into a blog that is only about shorebirds, but it is only because those are the most interesting birds in Indiana right now!

With the lack of rain here in central Indiana, mudflats are becoming exposed at Eagle Creek much earlier then I ever remember and the shorebirds are taking full advantage. This is about the only positive spin that we can put on the drought. We are in serious need of rain and there is none in sight!

The species diversity is starting to increase. In addition to the usual Killdeer, and Least, Spotted, and Solitary Sandpipers, we found our first Stilt Sandpipers of the fall migration. As we continued to scan the mudflats, a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs came flying in. We continued our search but did not turn up any more species.

Killdeer
As we headed back to our car, we ran into another group of birders that said they had seen a couple of Woodcocks out in the open just a little farther up the trail. We were surprised to find two Woodcocks still feeding in the open. That brought our number of shorebird species for the day to seven! It should be fun to see what turns up at Eagle Creek over the next several weeks!

American Woodcock
While we were looking for shorebirds, I was also able to photograph a couple of other species. This Willow Flycatcher kept up company for most of the morning while we were scanning the mudflats.

Willow Flycatcher
There were also a few Green Herons around all morning. I was able to get a shot of this one as it flew by.

Green Heron
-Rob

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