Sunday, June 5, 2011

Black-necked Stilts – Westport Massachusetts

Black-necked Stilts are a rare visitor to Bristol County Massachusetts. The usual range on the East Coast is up to Delaware and southern New Jersey. Last year, a pair of black-necked Stilts were present on the pannes at Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary and stayed for about two weeks. Many birders came down to see them.
This year, another pair of Black-necked Stilts arrived at the sanctuary and have been foraging on the pannes. One question is these the same pair as was here last year?
I spent around two hours yesterday in a corner of the pannes observing and photographing the Black-necked Stilts. They worked their way up and down the pannes searching for food. They took no notice of me and actually approached within 15 to 20 feet given the exceptionally good views of them.
Black-necked Stilt  _ROT4139   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Black-necked Stilt  _ROT4156   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Black-necked Stilt  _ROT4161   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Black-necked Stilt  _ROT4168   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Black-necked Stilt  _ROT4220   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Black-necked Stilt  _ROT4248   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Black-necked Stilt  _ROT4284   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Black-necked Stilt  Black-necked Stilt Flight_ROT4247   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Black-necked Stilt  Black-necked Stilt_ROT4304   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011
"Their diet consists of brine shrimp and brine flies, other aquatic insects and insect larvae, small fish, snails, and frogs. Black-necked Stilts forage by wading through the water, picking and jabbing with their bills, and sometimes submerging their heads and upper breasts to nab prey. They also sweep their bills from side to side as they walk."
Since this is the time of their breeding, it be wonderful if they would establish a nest at the sanctuary, we can only hope.
Besides the Black-necked Stilts that were on the pannes, there were also Willits, Great Egret, peeps and the usual blackbirds. bnsbl   _ROT4122   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Mallardbnsbl   _ROT4242   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Willetbnsbl   _ROT4322   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Willetbnsbl   Common Grackle_ROT4124   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Common Gracklebnsbl   Great Egret flight_ROT4357   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Great Egretbnsbl   Great Egret_ROT4335   NIKON D3S June 04, 2011 Great Egret
If you are in the area I would recommend a trip to Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary in Westport Massachusetts and walk on the Beach Loop toward the culvert. Then look to the right along the back side of the pannes.allenspond_trails