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That's an Ugly Shorebird

September 7, 2019

Another weekend and another lakefront trip. I wanted to get one more shorebird trip in before focusing on migrating warblers. Strong south winds the previous day and overnight south winds seemed promising. Things just did not work out that way.

I arrived at the beach in New Buffalo, MI a little later than hoped. I walked up to a group of birders just as a jaeger sp. was flying out of view. There was a nice group of Sanderling on the beach and some Semipalmated Plovers and a Semipalmated Sandpiper in the "magic puddle". I hung around for a bit but decided to check Michigan City.

At Michigan City, I had a small group of shorebirds huddled next to the breakwall. Most of them were Sanderling, but I could see one or two apparent Baird's Sandpiper with them. The big problem was there were four Turkey Vultures between me and them.

The vultures were quite shy, and when they flushed up, the shorebirds would scatter. I eventually sat on the beach and waited. The birds were working their way toward me, but they were scattered by some walkers. I followed back toward the parking lot and thought I was going to get an opportunity for some good shots when they scattered again. I looked up and realized the kite surfer had moved all the way down to us and was currently hovering his kite directly overhead.... The birds had flown back towards the breakwall; so, I headed back that way. I was probably still 50 yards away when everything scattered again. The Sanderling headed toward the lighthouse. Three Baird's flew north towards New Buffalo. I checked up beach a little ways, but the birds were not to be found.

A Baird's Sandpiper is always a nice find!

Back to New Buffalo. I hung around for a while; hoping the Baird's would show up, but it was not in the cards. I spent a while shooting the imm. Semipalmated Plover that were left when I returned. Some Killdeer wandered my way, and I took the opportunity to photograph them, as well.

While it was not exactly the weekend I'd hoped for, it was nice to get out. I hit up Eagle Creek Park the next morning, but someone has not informed the migrants that it's time to start migrating. There's always next weekend!

Thanks for reading,




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