Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chasing Another Rare Bird at Goose Pond

Rob writes: Yesterday I went to Goose Pond FWA in search of the reported Spotted Redshank originally observed on Thursday. This is the first time ever that a redshank has been seen in Indiana and is one of very few inland records from North America. Goose Pond seems to be a magnet for rare shorebird,s and this is the second species in the past year seen on the property that should be all the way in Europe and Asia!

When my wife and I arrived at 8am, there was nothing to be seen at all! The fog was so thick that you could barely see more than 50 feet in front of you. We were on a tight schedule because I had to be all the way back in Indianapolis (about a 2 hour drive) for work at 1:30, and I was extremely worried about my chances of seeing this bird. While waiting for the fog to wear off, it was fun to talk with all of the birders that had come to the property for this rarity - some all the way from Texas and Pennsylvania.

At 10:30 the fog started to clear, and by 10:45 it was completely gone. Lee Sterrenburg got a call from another group of birders that they had found the bird in another field, and everyone rushed off in search of the bird. Luckily, I was one of the first people to arrive (it was half-mile hike), and I saw the bird right away! It stayed for about 3 or 4 minutes and then took flight. It was too quick for me to get photos, but my friend Ryan Sanderson was able to stick around for quite awhile and got some great photos in the afternoon despite the fact that the bird stayed pretty far away.

One of the Spotted Redshank shots from Ryan Sanderson. More shots of this bird can be seen on his Flickr page
Another shot from Ryan, this time of the bird in flight.
I had seen the bird at literally the last possible minute, so I hurried back to the car and quickly left for home. It was a successful trip and I fortunately made it to work right on time.  Have any of you made the trip to Goose Pond to try to see this bird?  What was your experience like, and what did you think of the property?


Mark Welter said...

Slow day at work Saturday, so I exercised my Manager's Prerogative and took off about 2:30. I had been checking IN-BIRD periodically through the day in hopes that the bird was still there. Arrived at GP around 4:00 and made the hike out to Field B.

A generous fellow birder had the Redshank in his scope and immediately let me look at it upon arrival. The bird stayed in about the same location the entire time I was there, about 2-1/2 hours. Ended my visit with a Short-Eared Owl at GP9 on the way out.

GPFWA is my favorite birding spot in the entire state, and I try to make it down about once a month.

Your website and blog have been invaluable to my birding efforts as I have gotten back into the hobby this past year, so thanks and keep up the good work!

Rob Ripma said...

So glad you were able to see it!

Goose Pond is my favorite spot in the state as well. I have been birding there since shortly after it was created and it still amazes me!

Thanks so much for you kind comments about our website! We hope to keep it growing and continuing to help travelling birders!