Bashakill Dunlin!

Immature Dunlin at the bridge on Haven Road.

Immature Dunlin at the bridge on Haven Road.


This morning I traveled around the county looking for birds that might have come in on the continuing northwest winds. It wasn’t very active today. The highlights of up-county were a Common Loon on the Neversink Reservoir, four Ruddy Ducks and two Lesser Yellowlegs at Morningside Park, and seven Ruddy Ducks at Kiamesha Lake. I then headed to the Bashakill to try for some more sparrows. Bird numbers were way down overall. Hermit Thrush seemed to increase overnight, with eight seen this morning. Otherwise it was fairly quiet. As I made one last swing past Haven Road, I spotted a first winter Dunlin by the waters edge. Very uncommon here, it was only my second ever at the Bashakill! Scott and Paula Baldinger and Arlene Borko were all able to come see this confiding little shorebird. The bird fed constantly on small crustaceans. At one point it caught a large invertebrate and fought with it until he finally did it in and he swallowed it whole. I concluded it is a first winter based on the fine streaking on the upper breast, and several very distinct scapulars. Each one is black with rufous edging. There are four remaining on the left side and one on the right side, at least as far as I can see. These scapulars are seen on a juvenile bird, and are molted out for the first winter plumage.
Dunlin

Dunlin


At one point, when we walked up on the road away from the water, the Dunlin followed us, parking right in the middle of the road.  I scooted it back down to the waters edge.

At one point, when we walked up on the road away from the water, the Dunlin followed us, parking right in the middle of the road. I scooted it back down to the waters edge.


In this shot, you can just see the rufous scapulars of a juvenile bird still remaining. One right at the shoulder, one mid way and two near the rear of the scapulars.

In this shot, you can just see the rufous scapulars of a juvenile bird still remaining. One right at the shoulder, one mid way and two near the rear of the scapulars.

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