Friday, September 3, 2010

Oakland County Shorebirds

The pickings are usually pretty slim as far as shorebirds are concerned in Oakland County but this year has been better than most. Robert Long has developed some great habitat over the past few weeks and this afternoon Karl Overman found a Red-necked Phalarope there. I had just returned from Kensington Metropark, where I had just seen the second park record of Baird's Sandpiper when I saw an email from Karl about the Phalarope. I was out the door again in a flash and was at Robert Long twenty minutes later. I was quickly able to see the Phalarope (park bird #100! County lifer #198) and was excited to see a Baird's Sandpiper (park bird #101) as well. I can't believe that I saw three Baird's Sandpipers in a year in Oakland County, let alone two in one day. Almost all of the top Oakland County birders were there as it is believed to be only the second county record of Red-necked Phalarope. The first was back in 1970 so I think it was a county lifer for all of us. Incredibly, the Phalarope was Mike Mencotti's 9th species of shorebird for the day, this is practically unheard of in Oakland County. Here is a picture of the Phalarope and a picture of it with the Baird's Sandpiper, probably the best pair of shorebirds ever seen together in Oakland County.

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