August 17, 2015 Because you can never have too many Piping Plover stories. Alex shares his latest adventure and more support for his R...

RBS - The Procrastinator Gets the Plover - by Alex Eberts

August 17, 2015

Because you can never have too many Piping Plover stories. Alex shares his latest adventure and more support for his Rogue Birder name - The Snooze!!!

Lifer #343 - Piping Plover
When I woke up on Wednesday morning I planned on doing nothing but packing all of my belongings and moving back into my apartment in Columbus for school. Next thing I know, I got an email from the Ohio Birds Listserv saying nothing more than “Conneaut Sandspit – Piping Plover 11 AM.” Of course! The one day I had something that I couldn’t reschedule or push to the side; a bird I had wanted to see all year had shown up at the furthest possible corner of the state. Since it was out of the question for that day, I decided I would just have to play it by ear on Thursday just in case it happened to stick around. Seeing Jeremy and Leslie’s photos of it that evening absolutely killed me, and just made me kick myself even more.

Got a little too low, perhaps
Thursday came and went without a single report one way or another, and I wasn’t about to make the three-hour drive there and take the chance of coming up empty-handed. After all, Piping Plovers tend to be one-day wonders here in Ohio, so it seemed pretty likely that this bird followed the pattern and kept moving. Well, it seemed pretty likely…until Friday when I woke up to a positive report. Once again, a day that I had plans I couldn’t possibly reorganize or reschedule. I was starting to think this bird just had a sixth sense about when would be the worst possible times to show its face! As Friday came and went, I crossed my fingers and hoped that it would hang around just one more day.

Perfect Piping Plover
When I woke up on Saturday, I saw exactly what I had been hoping for – “Piping Plover still present on the sandspit!” I ran out the door, hopped in the car, and three hours later I was stepping onto the sand along with Jeremy and Daniel DeLapp. Because the beach was so crowded we made our way over to the sandspit. It only took us about a minute of being over there before Jeremy had located it foraging with a Semipalmated Plover. Even though it had been very cooperative for everyone else, we approached it slowly and let it get used to our presence as we took photos. Just as with everyone else, it paid us no attention as we knelt in the mud and muck in an attempt to get eye level with the brave little plover. At one point, it walked straight at me and was only about three feet away from me at its closest point. 

The Sandspit
All in all, we spent about six hours walking the beach and hoping for a glimpse at a flyover Whimbrel; sadly, we weren’t THAT lucky. However, we did have point-blank looks at other great shorebird species like Willet and Stilt Sandpiper. Not only was the Piping Plover a new year bird for me (bringing my total to 275), but it was a new life bird for me as well! It brought my ABA Life List to 343, and my Ohio Life List up to 281. For my first visit to Conneaut, I have to say that the photo ops are phenomenal and I can’t wait to go back. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend paying it a visit. Regardless of the bird diversity you may find, the scenery alone makes it worth the trip!

Other photos from the day.

Willet and Stilt Sandpiper

Bonaparte's Gull and a Lesser Yellowlegs / Greater Yellowlegs / Willet comparison

You may also like

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.