[va-bird] Craney Island: eared grebes, lesser black-backed gulls

Sunday morning at Craney Island Landfill there were some new arrivals and many shorebirds gone. Approximately 75 ruddy ducks and a pair of American wigeon have been added to the large (~1000) duck flock that has been building for about a month. Four adult and 2 second-year lesser-black-backed gulls were among the ever increasing flock of herring and great black-backeds on the east side of the northern cell. There are now 3 dunlin instead of one, and 3 western sandpipers have joined the shrinking flocks of semipalmated and least sandpipers. The 30 avocets are still present in the southern cell. Shorebird diversity and numbers were way down from Thursday, with only 5 stilt, 2 white-rumped, 30 semipalmated, and 5 least sandpipers, 20 sanderling, 3 dunlin, 10 semipalmated plover, 6 black-bellied plover, 2 killdeer, 2 short-billed dowitchers, 15 lesser and 1 greater yellowlegs and the avocets present. The productive pool at the southeast corner has been pumped dry. There were two eared/horned grebes, immature, in the middle cell, at a great distance today. It is very likely that these are the two eared grebes seen in the same location on Tuesday (studied closely and photographed), but today they were not at an identifiable distance. The phalaropes appear to be gone after more than a month on the site.



Daniel A. Cristol, Associate Professor
Department of Biology
College of William & Mary
PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA
(757) 221-2405/6483 (tel/fax)
dacris@xxxxxx
http://dacris.people.wm.edu/

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