Bashakill – Whimbrel!

Fox Sparrow on the Birch Trail

Fox Sparrow on the Birch Trail

I spent a couple of hours at the Bashakill this morning. There was a lot of movement overnight and birds continued to move through the morning. Sparrows continue in good numbers. I found yet another Vesper Sparrow on Haven Road and a couple of Fox Sparrows on the Birch Trail. The real excitement for me however was as I began my return hike from the tower on the Birch Trail. Just as I began the hike back, I noticed a large shore bird flying on my right down the kill. The bird was very large and I knew immediately that it was either a Godwit or a Whimbrel. The bird was a uniform warm brown above with a slightly darker tail. There were no marking visible and no white on the bird at all. The under parts as it flew along and when it banked appeared uniform pale gray- brown. The legs did not stick out beyond the tail. The bill was long, but I wasn’t able to determine if it was straight or curved. Possibly the distance and angle of flight hampered my ability to discern that. I then went back to the car and went over the books. It became clear that the only candidate to meet that combination of field marks was a Whimbrel! An exciting and unexpected find.

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