Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pt. Mouillee Triple Play

On 8/21, my last day in Michigan, I went to Pt. Mouillee in SE Michigan with a friend. Word on the street was that there was great shorebirding to be had and I wanted to clean up a few species before heading to Minnesota. Mouillee did not disappoint.

When we arrived at Cell 3 the shorebirds were constantly being harassed by a Peregrine Falcon. It kept kicking shorebirds out of the cell. The numbers seemed way down from what people were reporting in the previous days. However, it didn't take long to pick out a Baird's Sandpiper.

Baird's Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpipers were also easy to pick out as they towered over the small peeps on the mud flats. They were in pretty bad light and somewhat distant, so I gave my digiscoping camera a try. I only got mediocre pictures of this adult Stilt Sandpiper.

Stilt Sandpiper
Two of my main targets down, but I was starting to get worried since my third (and "most wanted") target, the White-rumped Sandpiper, had yet to show. No worries, we had plenty of time to sit at Cell 3.

As the Peregrine activity slowed down, the birds settled in, giving us a chance to pick through the peeps more carefully. I finally got on the White-rumped Sandpiper foraging out right in front of us, although a bit distant.

White-rumped Sandpiper
This couldn't have went any better! We also had American Avocet, Willet and Black-bellied Plover. Only a few remaining shorebirds left in the east to find as they head south.

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