[TN-Bird] Baird's Sandpipers and Bobolinks along the Mississippi River

  • From: OLCOOT1@xxxxxxx
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, ARBIRD-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 09:33:17 EDT

April 21, 2005
Crittenden Co, AR
 
Yesterday, I had visiting birders from the Bahamas and Washington State and  
I took off from work to bird in TN and AR. We ended the day with 110 species,  
most from the Wapanocca NWR in AR and Ensley Bottoms in TN.
 
The woodland birding was more than slow but we made up for it in the fields  
and shorebird habitat. The biggest surprise from the 15 species of Wind Birds  
came in the pool of water that we had counted 66 Baird's Sandpipers a  couple 
of weeks ago. The shorebirds kept dropping in, evidently there was a  raptor 
in the area that was driving all the birds from other wet areas into this  one 
pool. The last of 5 counts of the Baird's Sandpipers yielded THREE HUNDRED  
AND ELEVEN, by far my highest count ever for that species along the river. 
 
Also counted in the same hole were: 430 American Golden-Plovers (a very few  
in complete alternate regalia), Killdeer tending young, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 
8  Solitary Sandpipers, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, 116 Least Sandpipers, 17 Pectoral 
 Sandpipers and 105 Dunlin with a few sporting the bright red back that their 
 previous name Red-backed Sandpiper was derived from.
 
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Scarlet Tanagers were seen in good numbers and  
11 Eastern Kingbirds fell into one area in the afternoon. A Sora Rail gave us  
great looks at Ensley. We were also treated to a continuous bubbling babble 
from  a group of 8 male Bobolinks, a FOS sighting and a Life bird for the 
Washington  birder. A single Mississippi Kite soared close over our heads for 
another FOS  bird. At one point, in a small 4 foot tall oak tree, we had a Palm 
Warbler, a  Swamp Sparrow and a Lincoln's Sparrow, all sitting on one branch.
 
We also came across 3 birds perching on stalks about 3 feet off the ground  
and they were flying and landing on one perch after another but later did go to 
 the ground. Two of these birds had clear, buffy pink breasts while the other 
had  the normal plumage of a Water Pipit. The bright birds may have been from 
the  Rocky Mountain race of this species, this is my second encounter with a  
clear, pink breasted Water Pipit this year. The other was a lone bird in Dyer 
 Co, TN.  
Good  Birding!!!

Jeff R. Wilson
OL'COOT / TLBA
Bartlett,  TN



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