[wisb] Re: SNOWY PLOVER on Mississippi River, Prairie du Chien (Crawford County)

  • From: Alex Stark <thearctictern@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wisbirdn <wisbirdn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2012 09:53:53 -0500

Hey Folks,
It was brought to my attention to post a location and some directions.

From Madison via hwy 18:
Coming into Prairie du Chien from the south, make a left turn on the
new highway 18 bypass. Continue down the bypass untill you get to an
old large warehouse. Take the next left on West Wells Street. Go over
the railroad tracks and take the first right on the single lane gravel
road. There will be a small sign that says "Design Homes Park" on your
left, then a small lot with a camper parked on it, and then there will
be an empty lot that is city property. Park just off the road and walk
down to the waters edge where you will see the mudflat.

I'm sure this bird is long gone by now but its definetly a spot that
needs continuous checking.

Bird On,

Alex Stark, Prairie du Chien
On Sun, Sep 2, 2012 at 12:58 AM, Alex Stark <thearctictern@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hey folks,
> So here's the short version: at 3:28 PM on 9/1 I was scoping a large
> mudflat on the Mississippi River when three shorebirds flew in and
> landed less than 100 yards away. I identified these three birds as a
> Semipalmated Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper and a SNOWY PLOVER!!!
> So here's the rest of the details:
> I knew that this bird was NOT a semipalmated plover or a large plover
> of any kind. As soon as the bird landed I had a difficult time making
> an initial identification as it was facing directly at me but
> instantly started noting important field marks. The bird landed
> looking directly at me so I was able to view a broken collar and also
> white lores and supraloral. I also saw a small, thin bill (but not
> stubby) that was a single color and also a white breast and belly.
> These three field marks screamed Piping Plover to me so I started
> calling up everybody I know to come see this bird! I also noted the
> legs were very dark gray rather than having any bright colors.
> Fortunately Dennis Kirschbaum was home and drove right over to view
> the bird. We both viewed the Plover with scopes for 20 minutes and
> discussed the field marks. We both agreed the bird had dark legs, a
> broken collar, very pale overall color and was similar size to the
> White-rumped Sandpiper it was feeding with. At this point I had Chris
> West on the phone alerting him to the bird while he was guiding a tour
> boat on the River and eventually saw the bird from his tour boat.
> While waiting for Chris to get done with his tour and get over to our
> scopes a Peregrine Falcon swooped in and jumped all three birds. The
> birds scattered in all directions so we were unable to get a view of
> which direction they were heading but we did see the Peregrine flying
> away with empty talons. These three birds never returned as Chris,
> Dennis and I waited another 20 minutes for any chance of a second
> view. It wasn't until I got home and picked up The Sibley Guide To
> Birds and paged over to a Piping Plover and this bird looked nothing
> like a Piping Plover and I soon realized that I was even better....a
> Snowy Plover that matched all of our discussed field marks perfectly!!
> This Snowy Plover is even a BIGBY species for me!!
> No pictures were obtained as I was without a camera....never fails....
> I wouldn't suggest chasing this bird as it's probably long gone by
> now. BUT I WILL BE CHECKING ALL DAY TOMORROW! I'l keep the list posted
> with updates if it does magically reappear.
> Thats my story,
> Alex Stark, Prairie du Chien
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