Cupsogue County Park, Long Island

This morning, Karen Miller and I headed out to Cupsogue County Park early. We arrived at 8 am at low tide. We birded the flats there for four and a half hours. We were hoping for some good terns, but uncommon terns were scarce today. We did see one bird I believe was a Roseate Tern. All dark cap, Black bill, orange-red legs. Unfortunately the bird was in a mass of Common Terns and I was never able to get a definitive ID. After all the terns flushed and resettled, the tern was not seen again. We ran into Jim Clinton who informed me he had had a Roseate earlier, so it probably was the bird, but I didn’t count it. Common, Least and a couple of Forster’s were the only terns seen. Shorebirds were in good numbers. About 75 Least and 50 Semipalmated Sandpipers were present. Also present were probably two WESTERN SANDPIPERS! I was able to note differences in their plumage, but photos were tough. Any close approach resulted in them picking up and putting down another hundred feet away. The photos I got only show one positive Western Sandpiper. I’ve attached a few of my distant shots. Karen was able to pick up a number of year birds. It was a good day in spite of the lack of our tern targets (Arctic, Royal).

Western Sandpiper - note the long drooping bill.

Western Sandpiper – note the long drooping bill.

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