Friday, 11 September 2015

World Shorebird Day 2015

I did my part for World Shorebirds Day by joining in the global shorebirds count on September 6th. I registered four locations.  They were Oistins, Inch Marlow and Long Beach on the South Coast and the Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge (WSR) which was being affected adversely by the low rainfall which the island is experiencing this year.

Birding the South Coast 

Ruddy @ Oistin
I started my count in the popular Oistins area, the home of the world famous Friday Night Fish Fry.  This fishing complex not only attracts hundreds of tourist and locals alike, but also migrating shore and sea birds yearly.  I observed thirteen species of birds, three of which were shorebirds - Spotted Sandpipers (Actitis macularius), Semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus) and Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) . (My Ebird's Checklist

My next stop along the South Coast was the surfing hotspot of Inch Marlow.  This location has registered its fair share of shorebirds including rarities.  On this occasion however, I was not that fortunate.  I recorded six species at Inch Marlow of which three were shorebirds.
 (My Ebird's Checklist)  
Whimbrel @ Silver Sands
My most productive stop of the morning was at Long Beach.  Here, various species of shorebirds were busy feeding on a buffet served up by the Sargassum Seamoss which is affecting beaches on the South and East Coast of the island.  I recorded twelve species of birds of which nine were shorebirds.
(My Ebird's Checklist)   
I got a bonus as I was traveling from Oistins to Inch Marlow.  I saw a Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) at De Action Man's Beach, Silver Rock.  This bird was wading in a small pond.

 Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge

Solitary Sandpiper @ WSR
For my final stop I traveled west away from the South Coast to the only shorebird sanctuary on the island, the Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge (WSR).  This year WSR, like the rest of the island is being affected by the low rainfall that was impacting the entire region.  It was not difficult to see the effects as you drove onto the property.  Only two of the trays still contained water and both of their levels were very low.  A few shorebirds were around, mostly Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla).  I observed thirteen species there. 


I was happy to be a part of the second World Shorebirds Day.  I was expecting to see more shorebirds than I did but with the island’s low rainfall it was understandable.  Thirteen species of shorebirds was registered in total with Ruddy Turnstones the most numerous. The  World Shorebirds Day is here to stay and I am looking forward to next years count.