Apr. 30 - Fore!

The annual scene at Victoria Golf Course continues as about forty Whimbrels and one Short-billed Dowitcher take advantage of the fertile fairways for a bounty of earthworms. The migrating shorebirds usually arrive in the last week of April and leave by the second week of May.

Just staying out of the way of the golfers.

Here comes a mower! Let's get out of here.

Safety on the Rocks - When the flock gets nervous it takes sanctuary on the small off-shore islands.

It's not unusual to see a stranger in the midst of the Whimbrels. This time I saw a Short-billed Dowitcher. Last year I saw a Marbled Godwit and Long-billed Dowitcher.

Clover Point was quiet in the morning. My target bird was the Surfbird which was probably over at Ogden Point. However, according to Ed Pelizzon they did show up at noon. Black Turnstones were one of the four shorebirds present.

Last year at this time I was lucky to find a Ruddy Turnstone with the Black Turnstones. It wasn't to be today.

A small flock of Dunlin provided a few photo opportunities.

The Dunlin were looking sporty in their summer plumage.

Amongst the fifteen Dunlin was one lonely Western Sandpiper.

Over at Rithet's Bog a few Northern Shovelers were still dabbling around.

As usual, Marsh Wrens sounded from every patch of bullrushes. (I also heard a few Virginia Rail.)

The Marsh Wren was very chatty. I wonder what it was saying.

My usual stop at Somenos produced only the usual birds. As usual there was a flock of six Double-crested Cormorants on Forestry Island. And, as usual, they didn't stick around for too many photographs.

The usual Redwings were also present, but instead of the muskrat, I saw the beaver.

Once again, the Cassidy stop. I am very predictable. Yes, a Vesper Sparrow was also present along with a few White-crowned, Savannah, Chipping, and Juncos. There also seemed to be an over-abundance of bunny rabbits.

"Jailhouse Rock!" - The Vesper definitely looks like a prisoner with all it's leg-irons and the wire fence. I'm curious as to how the banding has influenced the Vesper rehabilitation program. Isn't it enough to monitor the annual population?