Sunday, September 11, 2011

Marbled Godwits

This afternoon I took a trip to the Cupsogue flats which I have not visited since last year.  Marbled Godwits have been reported regularly there but I've never had the chance to photograph them at Cupsogue (or any other location they happen to be at on Long Island during the end of summer/beginning of fall).  It took a bit of searching to find birds (any birds that weren't gulls that is) and after scanning through the crowd all I had were a lot of Black-bellied plovers and some Skimmers.  A raptor must have flown over because all of the birds took off and settled down in different spots with the Skimmers heading to the north on the fringe of some exposed sand.  When I began heading toward them I noticed a few birds a little further off in the water and as luck would have it, they were the Godwits I was after.

Now the hard part was getting close - There was no cover aside from two small patches of saltmarsh cordgrass, so I employed patience and my "stealth" skills to get right up on the birds.

Other birds this afternoon included the Snowy Egret:

Laughing Gull:

Common Tern juvenile which was still dependent on its parent for food (seemingly getting a little late for that behavior):

What I believe to be a Forster's Tern:

A Royal Tern was in the mix as well:

After looking at the photos I noticed the leg band.  Here is a major crop showing the numbers.  If anyone can make sense out of this let me know please:

These Eastern Willets in non-breeding plumage (with Godwits in the background):

If you like birds as much as I do (or even a little bit) you will love this book by New York's own Luke Dempsey entitled: A Supremely Bad Idea: Three Mad Birders and Their Quest to See It All

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