Sanderlings and Semipalmated Sandpipers at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 10, 2017

A brief stop at the McKinley Beach this morning provided nice views of 2 Sanderlings and 2 Semipalmated Sandpipers. One of the Sanderlings was transitioning into nonbreeding plumage and still had some of its breeding plumage, an interesting look. The birds fed on the algae mat at the beach. Other than that the lakefront was pretty slow at Bradford Beach, Lakeshore State Park and the harbor. Images were taken on September 10, 2017.

Sanderling going into nonbreeding plumage from breeding plumage with a worm…

Sanderling in nonbreeding plumage

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling going into nonbreeding plumage

Sanderling going into nonbreeding plumage

Sanderling in nonbreeding plumage

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling nonbreeding plumage

Semipalmated Sandpiper

 

Sanderlings at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on September 3, 2017

A stop at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin provided some nice views of Sanderlings. They feed along the algae mat in the beach area. A stunning shorebird species close up that moved quickly along the beach area. Images were taken on September 3, 2017.

Sanderling chasing off another Sanderling in the area

What’s up…

Looking for something to eat…

On the move along the mat

Got something…

On the move with a little wind blowing

A little wave action here…

In search of something to eat…

Here is a bite…

Posing…

Ruddy Turnstones at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 3, 2017

My first stop this morning on Milwaukee’s lakefront was McKinley Beach. Guess there were at least 25 shorebirds. Mostly Sanderlings, a Least Sandpiper, and  few Semipalmated Plovers. Also present were 2 Ruddy Turnstones which are always exciting birds. They feed in the more stony areas of the beach turning over items on the beach such as mussels getting food. They were flushed often by walkers with and without dogs but held still a few times for photos. It  was a beautiful morning to be out with sunny skies and pleasant temps. Images were taken on September 3, 2017.

Ruddy Turnstone, juvenile on the move

Ruddy Turnstone

Binomial name: Arenaria interpres

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 9.5” long, 21” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Ruddy Turnstone feeding on a mussel…

Ruddy Turnstone in a mussel and always turning things over…

Ruddy Turnstone with something to eat

Feeding in the water too….

Ruddy Turnstone feeding on mussels

Feeding

Ruddy Turnstone, juvenile

In search of food…

Northern Shoveler, maybe adult female

Ruddy Turnstone, Breeding adult plumage for comparison to fall plumage, taken in spring 2017. Image for reference only

Shorebirds at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 23, 2017

Stopping at a few locations this morning along the lake, Lakeshore State Park was the highlight with some beautiful shorebirds. The beach there gave nice views of the birds as they feed. Birds included a Least Sandpiper, mostly Semipalmated Sandpipers, a couple Semipalmated Plovers and a Sanderling. Images were taken on August 23, 2017.

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover feeding

Least Sandpiper on the move…

Semipalmated Sandpiper, walk don’t run…

Semipalmated Sandpiper in search of food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper with the feathers blowing in the wind…

Semipalmated Sandpiper on the move…

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding with a Semipalmated Plover behind…

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding with a Semipalmated Plover behind…

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Sandpiper looking for food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper looking for food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper with the feathers blowing in the wind…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling on the move

Sanderling with a gnat in the bill

Sanderling taking to the air…

Semipalmated Plover with the itch!

 

Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Some other nice shorebird species at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee yesterday, the Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings. There were 6 of them present for feeding back and forth along the beach shore from one end to the other putting on a great show. They flew from one side of the beach area to the other, usually what appeared to be for no reason. Cute little birds! Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Semipalmated Sandpiper looking for food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris pussilla

Category:  Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 6.25” long, 14” wing span

Weight:  .88 oz

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Some action on the beach…

Semipalmated Sandpiper center, in search of food, a big part of their life…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper front

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper, when the wave hits a wing, up they go…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Just looking…

and looking…

Dunlin at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Stopping at McKinley Beach today also gave nice views of another species of shorebird, the Dunlin. The Dunlin hung out with the Ruddy Turnstone and the Semipalmated Sandpipers while feeding along the beach on the algae mat. All the birds gave nice views on this cloudy day with mild temps and light winds. Light rain started and I left the area. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Dunlin

Binomial name: Calidris alpina

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.5” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

Feeding

Feeding

Eating something…or maybe sifting through the sand in the bill for something to eat…

At takeoff…

Preening

Preening

Fluffed up after preening…

At you…

Feeding

More feeding…

Feeding…

Closeup

Moving along the shore…

More feeding…

Just looking…

 

Ruddy Turnstone at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Doing some birding long the lakefront in Milwaukee today, the stop at McKinley Beach proved fruit full for a few nice shorebirds. A stunning male Ruddy Turnstone was feeding along the algae mat and put on a great show. It worked some of the big rocks too along the side of the beach feeding. Amazing as I have seen before, I watched this bird turn over rocks looking for food, probably why it got the name “turnstone”. Also present a Dunlin, and some Semipalmated Sandpipers. The Piping Plover was still present too! When I arrived at the beach I saw Sue K capturing a few shots already from the other side of the beach. A few rain drops started coming down and I left. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Finding things along the rocks to eat…

Ruddy Turnstone

Binomial name: Arenaria interpres

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 9.5” long, 21” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Coming in…

Finding things to eat as the wave comes in…

Looking for things to eat…

Something to eat, a crustacean…

Something to eat, a crustacean…

Getting things to eat

Getting something to eat…

Sanderling at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 3, 2017

One of my first stops of the morning on the Milwaukee Lakefront gave nice views of a Sanderling at McKinley Beach. Just one hanging around grabbing a few things to eat in between some of the small waves. So few shorebirds this year, maybe they are still coming. Images were taken on May 3, 2017.

Piping Plovers on Milwaukee’s Lakefront on May 2, 2017

A quick stop this morning on Milwaukee’s lakefront to see if the Piping Plovers were present proved worth it. The Piping Plovers were present and gave nice views for the few minutes I was there. They were at the location where they were found yesterday. The 2 of them moved around on the beach picking up insects, etc to eat.  While I was there a gust of wind came up and the birds just toughed it out facing the strong wind with sand in their faces! Exciting birds on a overcast, windy, and cold day! Images were taken on May 2, 2017.

Getting the insect…

With an insect…

Getting the insect…

Then there were two..

Toughing it out in the blowing sand!

With an insect…

With an insect in the blowing sand…

Marbled Godwits, Willets, American Avocets, and a Black-bellied Plover at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 30, 2017

On a gloomy morning I decided to head into Milwaukee to check out some of the beaches. My first stop was Lakeshore State Park. Jym M must have had the same idea as we pulled in together. We enjoyed some nice views of 4 American Avocets and 10 Willets. I left and check some other beaches in the area with nothing happening. I headed back to Lakeshore State Park and 2 Marbled Godwits, a Black-bellied Plover had joined in and Willets were up to 20. These birds put on a great show! They moved around being flushed by walkers and joggers but stayed on the island. With the horrible weather of 41 degrees and light rain, some wind, a few birders along with myself enjoyed the great show these birds put on. Images were taken on April 30, 2017.

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit

Binomial name: Limosa fedoa

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 18” long, 30” wing span

Weight: 13 oz

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwits

American Avocets, Willets and a Marbled Godwit

Willets incoming with a Marbled Godwit

Willets incoming with a Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwits along with 3 Willets

Marbled Godwit with a Willet

Marbled Godwit with a Willet

2 Marbled Godwits, 4 American Avocets and 5 Willets…

3 Willets along with a Marbled Godwit

Black-bellied Plover

Marbled Godwit looking for food

Marbled Godwits along with 3 Willets

Marbled Godwit preening

A call…

Across the water they go…

Walk don’t run…

The Willets

Incoming Willet!

After a short flight…

It is just how we all come in…

American Avocets

With a worm…

Dunlins and a Sanderling at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 27, 2016

I made a run to the lakefront early this morning to see what was going on. McKinley Beach had 2 Dunlins and a Sanderling. I hung out there for awhile as the feed along the beach, preened, etc. After a while it just looked like these birds were ready for a nap. They moved up to a log on the beach, preened and then 2 were sleeping when out of the corner of my eye a pedestrian was coming, the birds flushed out over the water and I could not see where they were headed. I checked back awhile later after doing the Magic Hedge and all 3 birds were no where to be seen. It was a nice show they put on for the time I was there. Another species new today were ~25 Greater Scaups at the Petroleum Pier. It was a gloomy day with low winds and mild temps for this time of year. Images were taken on October 27, 2016.

Dunlin

Dunlin

Dunlin

Binomial name: Calidris alpina

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.5” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

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The pair

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Feeding

Feeding

Feeding

Feeding

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Was feeding

Sanderling

Sanderling

Feedinig

Feedinig

Feeding

Feeding

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Sanderling

Sanderling with a wave in the background

Feeding

Feeding

The pair

The pair

Feeding

Feeding

Preening

Preening

Up at the log they are preening

Up at the log they are preening and getting ready for a snooze!

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

Preening

2 of 3 are sleeping

2 of 3 are snoozing

Ruddy Turnstone at North Point in Sheboygan Wisconsin on May 31, 2016

At my visit to North Point this morning in Sheboygan another stunning species showed up. A Ruddy Turnstone, adult male continually feed while I was present except for a few times the gulls flushed the area. Colors on this bird are amazing! While I watched this bird feed, it turned things over on the shore looking for food, which goes with it’s name.  Images were taken on May 31, 2016.

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Ruddy Turnstone

Binomial name: Arenaria interpres

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 9.5” long, 21” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Cool Fact: The Ruddy Turnstone turns things over on the shore foraging for food such as stones and other objects.

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Here the Ruddy Turnstone is turning over a piece of fish skin foraging for food

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Just ate something

Ruddy Turnstone with a Bonaparte's Gull, size comparison image

Ruddy Turnstone with a Bonaparte’s Gull, size comparison image

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Willets at South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 29, 2016

I birded the lakefront in Milwaukee from mid-morning till later afternoon and the highlight were Willets at South Shore Yacht Club. There were 4 Willets and they were feeding just south of the beach area for awhile and then they moved onto a pier to rest. There were a few dog walkers and do not think they will hang around long there. There were 100’s of Bonaparte’s Gulls south of the boat landing there and a few hanging around the beach area. I saw the first Black-crowned Night-Heron of the spring at Veteran’s Park near the lagoon. One Semipalmated Sandpiper and a few Caspian Terns at McKinley Marina and that was about it. I walked what I thought was a good part of Lake Park, not one warbler. Only one Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers to report there. The day ended with some Willets so that made my day. Images were taken on April 29, 2016.

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Willet

Willet

Binomial name: Catoptrophorus semipalmatus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 15” long, 26” wing span

Weight: 8  oz

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Willets

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Willet

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Willet eyeing up it’s next bite

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Willet going for what it eats

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Willet

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Willet

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Willets

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Food in the bill

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Willet

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Willet

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Willet

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Willet

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Willet

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Willet

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Bonaparte’s Gull, adult

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Bonaparte’s Gull, adult

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Bonaparte’s Gull, adult going for what it eats

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Bonaparte’s Gull, adult

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Bonaparte’s Gull, immature

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Bonaparte’s Gull, adult

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Bonaparte’s Gull, adult going for what it eats

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Bonaparte’s Gull, adult

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Bonaparte’s Gull, adult

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher seeing what it wants to eat

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher seeing what it wants to eat at Lake Park

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher going for what it wants at Lake Park

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher going for what it wants at Lake Park

Horned Grebe at Lakeshore State Park

Horned Grebe at Lakeshore State Park

Caspian Terns at McKinley Marina

Caspian Terns at McKinley Marina

Upland Sandpiper at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 24, 2016

I birded some of the beaches in Milwaukee early morning with not much going on. I ran into Rita F in the parking lot of the Magic Hedge and asked what she was after. She mentioned Mark K’s post of the Upland Sandpiper being there. I was not aware of it as Mark posted after I left the house. We located the bird in a couple minutes but it was very skittish and when it saw us, it pretty much flew north onto the water treatment property. I got a couple of distant quick doc shots with poor lighting, that is the way it goes. It remained there until we left and was out of sight when we left. A life bird for me and a big thank you to Mark K for finding the bird and getting the word out for others to see. Hopefully it will hang around a while. Other birds to note on the lakefront, 1 Purple Martin checking out the house at Lakeshore State Park, 2 Caspian Terns and a couple of Ruddy Ducks were also present there. A cloudy gloomy day with a few light drizzles at times and still cold out there! Images were taken on April 24, 2016.

Upland Sandpiper

Upland Sandpiper

Upland Sandpiper

Binomial name: Bartramia longicuda

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 12” long, 26” wing span

Weight: 6 oz

Upland Sandpiper

Upland Sandpiper

Upland Sandpiper with roof of treatment plant in background

Upland Sandpiper with roof of treatment plant in background

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Purple Martin checking out the house

Purple Martin checking out the house

Purple Martin checking out the house

Purple Martin checking out the house

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Purple Martin checking out the house

Purple Martin checking out the house

Purple Martin checking out the house

Purple Martin checking out the house

Purple Martin checking out the house, bird appears to be banded

Semipalmated Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plover at Myers Beach in Racine Wisconsin on August 13, 2015

I made the run down to Myers Park in Racine in hopes to see the Virginia Rail that was reported. I did get a glimpse of it and a doc shot. It was only out of the tall grass for a couple seconds and then disappeared. I waited for about 20 minutes for it to show again, but it never did. Other than that, other species present, a Great Blue Heron, Semipalmated Sandpipers and a Semipalmated Plover. A few Killdeer were also present. I checked North Beach in Racine and that was quiet. A few Caspian Terns were loafing on the beach with gulls. I took a few shots of the Plover and Semipalmated Sandpipers to share feeding in the early morning sun. It was a beautiful morning on the lake with calm winds and pleasant temps early. Thanks to those that reported the Virginia Rail, it was a life bird for me. Images were taken on August 13, 2015.

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper with corophium volutator, what they eat.

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper with corophium volutor, what they eat.

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover feeding

Semipalmated Plover feeding

Virginia Rail, behind log, doc shot with red arrow

Virginia Rail, behind log, doc shot with red arrow

Least Sandpiper Grant Park South Milwaukee August 21, 2015

Least Sandpiper Grant Park South Milwaukee August 21, 2015

Least Sandpiper Grant Park South Milwaukee August 21, 2015

Least Sandpiper Grant Park South Milwaukee August 21, 2015

Least Sandpiper Grant Park South Milwaukee August 21, 2015

Least Sandpiper Grant Park South Milwaukee August 21, 2015

Marbled Godwit at Dane County Wisconsin on August 11, 2015

I stopped on the way home from up north this afternoon at County V ponds to see if the Marbled Godwit that has been reported was still present. As I pulled up behind another birder in his car there, I got out and asked him. The kind birder showed me right where it was hanging out behind some vegetation, thank you! Moments later it came out and gave nice but distant views. It feed the time I was there probing in the muck. It remained far from the road but stayed pretty much out in the open. After awhile it took flight to the east, landed, but then a few minutes later I could not relocate the bird. I’m sure it was still there. A big thank you to who found this bird and reported it for others to see. It was a warm day with clouds and sun. Images were taken on August 11, 2015 in Dane County.

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Marbled Godwit

Binomial name: Limosa fedoa

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 18” long, 30” wing span

Weight: 13 oz

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Marbled Godwit with Lesser Yellowlegs in front

Probing for food!

Probing for food!

Probing for food!

Probing for food!

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Probing for food!

Probing for food!

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Takeoff with Killdeer in front, Lesser Yellowlegs to the left.

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After the flight around the pond, it lands!

After the flight around the pond, it lands!

Wilson’s Phalarope, American White Pelicans, Great Egrets and more at the Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin on April 30, 2015

I made the first trip up to Horicon Marsh this spring early morning today. I was there at sun up and it was a beautiful morning. I stopped on Hwy 49 and there was nothing special going on that I could see. I hit the auto tour next a couple of times and it provided some nice views of American White Pelicans, Great Egrets  and a few Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. Mixed in with the yellowlegs was a beautiful male Wilson’s Phalarope. Other than that common ducks that have been reported, Sandhill Cranes, Double-crested Cormorants, etc. I hit Dike Road and it was pretty quiet, all I could come up with was a Great Blue Heron for something special. Nice morning to be out with 38 degrees to start with sun, but after a couple of hours the clouds rolled in and I headed south. Images were taken in the early morning sun on April 30, 2015.

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson’s Phalarope

Wilson’s Phalarope

Binomial name: Phalaropus tricolor

Category: Sandpipers and Phalaropes and Allies

Size: 9.25” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson’s Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson’s Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson’s Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson’s Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson’s Phalarope

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelican preening

American White Pelican preening

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American White Pelicans

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans resting

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egrets

Great Egrets

Great Egrets

Great Egrets

Great Egrets

Great Egrets

Great Egret preening

Great Egret preening

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Great Egret

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Whimbrel at Lakeshore State Park Milwaukee Wisconsin September 22, 2014

I birded Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee this morning about 7:30. I have not visited the park in well over 2 weeks. I ran into Bruce, and we walked the park for about an hour. We were just talking about the Whimbrel and having not seen it when out from nowhere it glided right over our heads and landed 50 feet away. It gave nice views and preened for some time, getting all the feathers in order. The Whimbrel also ate gravel for it digestive system which I had never saw before. The stones or gravel help in grinding up their food in their stomachs.  The second Whimbrel has not been seen for some time. This bird will have been present 3 weeks as of tomorrow. Other species to note, about 10 Double-crested Cormorants were in the waters around the park area. Images were taken on September 22, 2014.

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Whimbrel

Binomial name: Numenius phaeopus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 17.5” long, 32” wing span

Weight: 14 Oz.

Habitat: Breeding habitats can be wet or dry in tundra areas, taiga bogs, and sparse scrub lands across northern Canada and Alaska. This species winters in parts of the southern US and South America on coastal shorelines, in tidal flats, shallow marshes, short grasslands, mangroves, beaches and oyster banks.

Diet: In breeding season they prefer marine invertebrates mainly small crabs, sometimes insects and berries and even flowers. They are also known to eat butterflies. In migration their diet can include crabs, beach flies, beetles, spiders, grasshoppers and oysters.

Nesting: As the snow melts on their nesting grounds they establish territories doing aerial displays. The nest is made up of a scrape on the ground or pressed bowl typically lined with leaves, lichens and grasses. Clutch size is usually 2-5 eggs green in color marked with darker greens and browns. Both sexes incubate the eggs for about 25 days. When the downy chicks hatch, they are ready to walk. Adult birds are known to attack humans if they come too close in their nesting area.

Cool facts: Some of the migrating Whimbrels are known to do a nonstop migration flight south of 2,500 miles.

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Picking up a stone.

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Getting ready to swallow the stone.

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Getting ready to swallow the stone.

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Getting ready to swallow the stone.

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Picking up a stone.

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Scratching!

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Preening, straightening and cleaning the feathers.

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Preening, straightening and cleaning the feathers.

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Preening, straightening and cleaning the feathers.

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Preening, straightening and cleaning the feathers.

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Preening, straightening and cleaning the feathers.

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Preening, straightening and cleaning the feathers.

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Eating a grub, image taken September 26, 2014

Eating a grub, image taken September 26, 2014

Eating a grub, image taken September 26, 2014

Eating a grub, image taken September 26, 2014

Image taken September 26, 2014

Image taken September 26, 2014

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Image taken September 26, 2014

Image taken September 26, 2014

Image taken September 26, 2014

Sanderling skirmish at Bradford Beach Milwaukee Wisconsin September 14, 2014

On Sunday as the Sanderlings were busy feeding on Bradford Beach, I observed a skirmish take place near me. I have not witnessed one of this length before and so full of action, usually it is just a little wing action or poking.  When I looked at the images as what all took place in a matter of seconds it was incredible. Amazing that one Sanderling pushes another Sanderling down with its bill to the algae mat. I apologize for any blurry or poor quality images, but I did not want to leave out any of the of action shots. 30 images are in order from start to finish from the event as it happened. Images were taken on September 14, 2014.

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Western Sandpiper at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin Sept 14, 2014

I decided to make a trip to Bradford Beach this morning in Milwaukee. It was an exciting few hours. When I arrived at the algae mat on the south end of the beach, I noticed what I thought was a Western Sandpiper. Moments later it was out of sight. I walked the beach to the north as there was another good size algae mat. Nothing was there other than Sanderlings. When I returned to the south end of the beach other birders had arrived and they confirmed that a Western Sandpiper was present. It was a juvenile. We had nice views, and it came and went during the day as it was flushed from the areas as many folks were out walking the beach and enjoying the nice weather. At one time I stood near the south mat and a Plover appeared, not sure which one, seconds later it was gone! Moments later a Ruddy Turnstone appeared, that bird was also gone in less than 30 seconds. Bradford Beach has really been bringing in some great shorebirds recently, I hope it continues! It was nice too, to see a few birding friends I have not seen for a while. Images were taken on September 14, 2014.

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Western Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris mauri

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Description: Brown feathers on back with white underparts.  Dark legs and bill.

Size: 5.5” – 6.7” long, 10.2” – 14.6” wingspan

Weight: 0.8 oz. – 1.2 oz.

Habitat: Coastal tundras, shorelines, and mudflats

Diet: Small insects such as flies and beetles as well as spiders, mollusks, and small crustaceans

Nesting: The male builds several nests out of grasses, leaves, and lichens pressed into a mud flat or shoreline.  He will then sing to attract a mate, and she will choose the nest.  Both parents will incubate the eggs.  The typical clutch size is 3-5 eggs.  The female may stay and help care for the chicks, or she may leave before the eggs hatch and the male will be the sole caretaker.

Notes: Western Sandpipers breed in Siberia and Alaska, although migration will take them down the West Coast to California.  Very rarely are they seen as far east as the Midwest.

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Feeding

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With food

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Feeding

Preening

Preening

Resting

Resting with eyes open

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Resting

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With food

Wind blowing from the back on the feathers

Wind blowing from the back on the feathers

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Baird's Sandpiper, left Western Sandpiper, right

Baird’s Sandpiper, left – Western Sandpiper, right

Baird's Sandpiper, left Western Sandpiper, right

Baird’s Sandpiper, left – Western Sandpiper, right

Feeding

Feeding

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Images from a Western Sandpipers visit to Bradford Beach Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 11, 2013: Image link