Thursday, October 18, 2012
Life Bird Number 635 - Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
My blog today was going to be a continuation of the lighthouses of Cape Cod, however, it is Thursday and for people have been following my blog know that is the day that I will go birding with my good friend Doug. Our plan was to first visit Gooseberry Neck to see what birds we could find and photograph. Then we will going to travel to Jamestown, Rhode Island to search for a rarity-Wood Sandpiper. Wood sandpipers are an Eurasian species and semi--regularly seen only in Western Alaska. This is just the seventh record for the lower 48 United States and there was a record last year from Baja California. It is also the first recording of this species in Rhode Island.
It has been located at the Marsh Meadow Wildlife Preserve and Jamestown, Rhode Island, and has been seen regularly on the days prior to our visit. Doug and I were worried that we would not find the bird since I last couple of outings looking for rarities were a bust. On arriving at the water treatment plant in Jamestown, we came upon a group of birders who were there since early morning and had not seen the bird. Oh well, that is life.
Doug and one of the other people walked along the road and was searching the marsh and saw the bird fly in. Off everybody went to locate the Wood Sandpiper. I was still putting my camera get together and so I started following behind the group, the group was walking fast, and I lost sight of the group. I travel down the path and took multiple turns and did not find the group on the bird. I started to return back to the car when I met a couple of other gentleman walking down to find the bird, and they had directions a way to turn onto a narrow path down into the marsh. I join them, and after turning down this narrow path onto the marsh. We found the other people, and the Wood Sandpiper.
The Wood Sandpiper did not seem to be afraid of people and was searching the marsh for food. It's very actively bobbed its tail just like yellowlegs do and in some ways looks like a yellowlegs, except the bill is much shorter. It was a pleasure observing this bird, number 635 on my life list, and obtaining photographs of it.
Searching the literature about the Wood Sandpiper, it is stated that is a wary, and nervous bird and will Burstyn to flight, if it is disturbed. The bird that is here in Jamestown, Rhode Island does not seem to be afraid of humans and comes up to within 10 to 20 feet of people that are observing it, and photographing it.
The Wood Sandpiper is an Eurasian species and is the smallest of the shanks. It breeds across northern Europe and Asia, winters in equatorial it areas from Africa to Asia and can be found in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska dirt spring migration. The Wood Sandpiper breeds in northern bogs and flooded forests on nests built on the ground amid dense visitation or sometimes will use old thrush nests in trees.
How long this rare bird will stay in the Jamestown area is unknown, but if you are in the area, try to take the time and go find and observe this beautiful bird.
To try to find this bird, Park at the water treatment plant on North Road in Jamestown. Search the surrounding area, but it has been located in the marsh to the left of the treatment plant. Follow the path on the left side of the treatment plant down until you come to a white pipe standing on the left side of the road, just past. They are on the left is a narrow path that leads into the marsh, and the bird has been found regularly to the right about 50 yards from where the path meets the marsh. Wear waterproof boots since the area is muddy and wet. Good luck