Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Piping Plover - Bunche Beach

Piping Plover - Bunche Beach
August 11th

Headed over to Bunche Beach this morning to see if the current weather over the Gulf of Mexico had pushed any pelagics to the coast.  Figured that it was a shot in the dark, but if you don't look, you don't find.  I think that the odds would have been better further south near Naples or Marco Island.  So I was not too disappointed that I didn't find any sooty terns or such.

However there was very good distribution of shorebirds and terns on hand. Found three Piping Plovers including one with bands and flags. My photos of the bird were not too good and it is hard to clearly see the orientation of the banding. If I can figure it out I'll report it.

My List - Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Black-bellied Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Least Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black Skimmer, Common Ground-Dove

A distraction this morning was a couple who may have thought that this was a nude beach.  It is well posted that nudity was not permitted here, and they did not stay long as they had set up right at the favored birding point at the north end. You never know what you will find when birding


  1. I observed the same banded plover which would place it in the area of Bunche Beach for at least five days (7 AUG- 11 AUG 2010). As a reminder, whenever you come across a resourceful website, "save it." I cannot find now the great one I had visited on bird banding. In any event, the plover had a green flag and green over green bands on one leg and red over blue bands on the other. I took multiple photos to document the bird (currently the last shot in my Piping Plover gallery). The signs indicating rules at the preserve are unfortunately overlooked. What appeared to be an Irish Setter had a good 30 minute run in late July. The wildlife fled as necessary.

  2. Hey Bob,
    Got the following response on reporting this bird -

    Dear Tom and Bob,

    Thank you for the report and photograph. The green flag on the upper left leg
    is a regional marker for piping plovers banded on the Missouri River below
    Gavins Point Dam. Gavins Point Dam is located on the northeast Nebraska -
    southeast South Dakota about 5 miles upriver from Yankton SD. The plover was
    banded by researchers from Virginia Tech who are studying piping plover use
    of sandbars constructed by the Corps of Engineers to provide nesting habitat
    for piping plovers and least terns on the Missouri. I will forward your
    report to the VPI researchers and they should be able to provide you with
    additional information as to when and where the plover was banded. Thanks
    again. It is nice to know that one of our plovers has already made it back to
    the wintering grounds.

    Greg Pavelka
    Wildlife Biologist
    US Army Corps of Engineers