Morningside Park and Haven Road Bashakill 7/11/12

Pied-billed Grebe off Haven Road 7/11/12

This morning I kayaked around Morningside Park and then went to Haven Road at the Bashakill where I kayaked some more. At Morningside Park, the shorebirds are slowly increasing. 12 Killdeer, 6 Spotted Sandpipers and 6 Least Sandpipers were seen. At the Bashakill, marsh birds were as scarce as they have been recently. Common Gallinules could be heard, but not seen. A Pied-billed Grebe was feeding off the bridge area again this morning. This is likely the same bird (male) that has been present since early spring in this area. As I paddled along, I think I got some insight into why the birds have been so difficult to see recently. The water level is so low, and the vegetation so dense that the birds are able to avoid coming out into the channel almost entirely. I found many open areas deep in the foliage and trails throughout that have been being used extensively by birds. I watched as a hen Wood Duck and her ducklings ran along through the trails without coming out. By this date, we should be seeing many COGA chicks. Since at least twenty pairs of birds began the nesting season, and there was no flooding or anything to deter a successful year, I think we should be seeing these birds anytime now.

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