Another interesting day

Two, two inch tall Killdeer chicks crossing the parking lot.

Two, two inch tall Killdeer chicks crossing the parking lot.

This morning I got a call from Lance Verderame that he had found a Semipalmated Plover at the Apollo Plaza. (thanks Lance!) I headed up there a short time later thinking I was going to just snap a shot of the plover and take off. It ended up being a very interesting morning in this unlikely (though excellent) spot. I immediately found the plover, it was calling continually just as Lance had said. I then saw the three Least Sandpipers that have been around for a few days. As I watched them, the Killdeer were going nuts. I looked to my left, and two tiny newly hatched Killdeer chicks were waddling along. The parents were trying to get them to better cover, or I would have never seen them. Though common, I never tire of watching these great birds with their chicks. I was able to get a couple of shots of them. As I was watching them, I then heard the familiar call of courting Spotted Sandpipers! The trio of birds, also present for a while, were displaying with aerial feats and calling as they flew up and down in the air. I think, since they have been there a while, they are going to breed here. I guess I disturbed them (or maybe not, I was all the way on the other side of the pond) because as one of them flew up in display, it flew over and landed on top of the old mall building. It was quickly joined by the other two and the courtship continued up there. That would be a great place for their nest if the building isn’t demolished in a few weeks. As all of this was going on, the Cliff Swallow Colony was very actively building its nest in a new location. Instead of the center of the building, they were building up under the canopy at the far left side of the mall. They kept coming out right near my car, collecting mud for their nests. I finally tore myself away and headed over to Kiamesha Lake to see if anything had come in there. Fortunately, our FOS WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 12 of them, had come in during last nights storm and were resting on the lake. With so much going on, I called Arlene Borko and she came over and saw the scoters, then we went back to the Apollo where she got all the other birds as well. When I went home for lunch, I got a text from Rob Stone informing me that shorebirds had come in in Orange County as well. I ended up heading down to Six and Half Station Road where I met Bruce Nott, Linda Scrima and Maria. Thanks to Rob and all of them for their help. They quickly pointed out all the birds present. The highlights for me were 51 Short-billed Dowitchers and 2 breeding plumaged Dunlin. A great day overall.

Cliff Swallows at the Apollo Plaza collecting mud for their nests.

Cliff Swallows at the Apollo Plaza collecting mud for their nests.

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

12 drake White-winged Scoters at Kiamesha Lake.

12 drake White-winged Scoters at Kiamesha Lake.

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