Shorebirds are here. And boy do they look SHARP. I led a Local Patch Birding shorebird workshop to Lorain, Pipe Creek, Willow Point, and Pickerel Creek yesterday, the 14th. Highlights included 9 species of shorebirds with a single WILLET (Pipe Creek) and gorgeous full-breeding Stilt Sandpiper (Pickerel). Short-billed Dowitchers and Least Sandpipers are simply stunning this time of year as these adult birds are still sporting their richly-marked breeding plumage. Both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs are strongly marked and quite sporty. Now is the time to seek the first wave of migrant shorebirds, including rarities such as Whimbrel, Willet, avocet, Marbled Godwit and Piping Plover. Check inland mudflats and beachfronts. Early morning visits to beaches (Conneaut, Huntington Reservation, etc.) are necessary since beach traffic sours success very quickly.
2012 top shorebird habitat spots:
Conneaut Harbor, Pipe Creek Wildlife Area, Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area, Willow Point Wildlife Area, Berlin Reservoir, Metzger Marsh, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, north Hoover Reservoir.
Stilt Sandpiper (with Least), Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area, July 14, 2012 | Dave Galvin