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21 August 2010 @ 06:22 pm
A Brief Outing  

After a wonderful outing on Saturday, the clouds moved in and I awoke to a rainy, stormy, gray Sunday. Because of the thunderstorms I had no plans to go out birding. However, that changed when I read Bruce DiLabio's report from Shirley's Bay. Despite the heavy rains, thunder and lightning he went out to the dyke where he had a small fallout of shorebirds totalling 16 species. Highlights included 1 Whimbrel flying over, Black-bellied Plovers, several adult Ruddy Turnstones and Sanderlings, one Short-billed Dowitcher and one Red-necked Phalarope. He also counted at least 8 Great Egrets and 5 Caspian Terns feeding in the bay.

Great Egret

While reading the list of shorebirds Bruce had seen, I couldn't help but drool. The Whimbrel would be a lifer, and the Black-bellied Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings and Short-billed Dowitchers would either be year birds or year birds for the Ottawa 50K. So when the rain tapered off in the early afternoon I decided to check out the dyke on my way home from the grocery store.

In addition to the shorebirds seen yesterday I found a couple of Semipalmated Sandpipers, Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows. I was thrilled to see that the Sanderlings and Short-billed Dowitchers were still feeding in the bay; however, the turnstones and Black-bellied Plovers had moved on. This was the first time I'd seen Sanderlings in Ottawa.

I saw a couple of terns, and several Great Egrets. One was close enough to the dyke for a half-decent photo:

Great Egret

Days like this just go to show that the birding can be wonderful even in the rain and thunder. Perhaps one day I'll be brave enough to go out birding during a thunderstorm!

Soul Diasporasoul_diaspora on October 1st, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
:-) I've birded in the rain a few times, but I'm always too paranoid to take my camera out in the rain, even if it's just a drizzle. I wish it were waterproof like my binoculars.