[TN-Bird] Avocet / Ensley Bottoms

  • From: OLCOOT1@xxxxxxx
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 22:15:53 EDT

July 20, 2003
Ensley Bottoms
Shelby Co. TN
Well, yesterday was good but today was better and hotter, Mike Todd and I 
spent 3-1/2 hours this morning and 2-1/2 hours this afternoon scanning 
shorebirds. It was a good day and the counts ended with 4000 "Wind Birds."

Making a second stop at one location this afternoon, Mike asked me "do you 
have the Avocet"? Lo and behold an Avocet had snuck in on us and a beauty she 
was. A slightly molted and faded female swept her way across the pool with a 
Black-necked Stilt, Lesser Yellowlegs and Stilt Sandpiper escort. Quite a nice 
combo with Least, Semipalmated and Western Sandpipers looking on.

We looked through the peeps, moved, scanned some more and moved. It was like 
an unending smorgasbord. We saw all types, sizes and variations in all the 
species. Every course a delight. We took a break in the middle of the day so I 
could show Mike a few of the places I mention in postings in east Arkansas that 
he had never seen before.

We hurried back to the pits to be rewarded with some new comers. In the 
morning we could only eek out a lone Western Sandpiper but by afternoon another 
appeared as if by magic and three of these were real carrot tops. We went from 
4 Semipalmated Plovers in the morning to two in the afternoon. 

The weekend total for "Wind Birds" was 14 species, as we added the Avocet and 
7 Stilt Sandpipers to Saturday's list. Again Least and Semipalmated 
Sandpipers had the largest gains with Pectoral only slightly behind.

I showed Mike a Black-necked Stilt behavior he had not seen before but I'll 
post a complete story on that later. "THE" nest is still active with both the 
male and the female seen on the nest at different times today.

I had Two "ducky" surprises this weekend. One was having a Green-winged Teal 
fly in on me Saturday, it appears, from the bill color, the bird is a female 
but I never got too close. We relocated the bird again today and later we found 
a Ring-necked Duck that I had seen in the spring. I thought this injured bird 
had become dinner fare long ago as I have not seen it for a while. Down the 
road a bit, we did surprise a Coyote in an open field and got some photos.

Today, the numbers of Mississippi Kites grew through the day until we had 20 
at one time but far short of the 70 last week. We also located the two adult 
and 4 fledged Western Kingbirds.

Good Birding!!!

Jeff R. Wilson
Bartlett Tenn.

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