Friday, January 7, 2011

Long-billed Curlew - a Visit to Bunche Beach

Friday January 7th
Long-billed Curlew
 I have not been able to get much birding in lately. We have been short-handed at work over the holidays and other more important matters had been keeping me busy. But I elected  to head over to Bunche Beach after a short rest following work this morning. I had been invited to Harn's Marsh by Bob Pelkey, but I was way too tired and headed to bed. So went to Bunche Beach later instead, figuring Bob had already left Harn's Marsh by then.
 Not as much variety at the beach today.  Hundreds of Black Skimmers and a few Royal, Sandwich and Forster's Terns. A dozen or so Ring-billed Gulls and fewer Laughing Gulls, A few Brown Pelicans and a couple of Double-crested Cormorants. Only two Wilson's Plover, six Black-bellied Plovers, four Piping Plovers and one Semipalmanted Plover.  Show no peeps at all aside about fifty Sanderlings.
 The big suprise was finding a very cooperative Long-billed Curlew. I had initially reported in this post that the bird was a whimbrel.  After reviewing my photos with many other photos on the net and in my own collection I have changed my mind on this bird to be a long-billed curlew. On my initial sighting I thought that it was too small for the curlew. But I had also noticed that this bird allowed very close approach, which had been my experience with on other occassions. Whereas any whimbrel I had seen before was always skiddish and did not allow a close approach.
A search for any ducks or loons only found two Red-breasted Mergansers feeding off shore.
A Ring-billed Gull

Piping Plover

Piping Plover

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to your thoughts here, Tom, I questioned whether I had seen Whimbrel at Bunche Beach about five months ago to see that someone corrected the sighting as curlew.