Monday, September 15, 2008

Looking for Shorebirds along the New Hampshire seacoast

Well the alarm went off at 3am and off we went, in 3 hours Montana and I would be birding the coast of New Hampshire with Terry Bronson of the N.H. Audubon Seacoast chapter. We arrived early and got in a little early morning birding before the 8am start. I was able to find a Greater Yellow legged Sandpiper and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper behind the Yankee Fisherman’s coop in SeaBrook harbor. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is bird number 244 on my Birding Big Year list, more on that later.
We joined nine very hearty birders at 8am in the RAIN and started out birding by checking the mudflats in Seabrook harbor. Sanderlings, Semi-palmated Plovers, American Black- bellied Plovers and White-rumped Sandpipers were just a few of the birds we found there.

Baird's sandpiper
That was the beginning to a very wet day with many new shorebirds and ended with a few new friends. I had a great time birding the sea coast, but learning the names and places to go birding on the NH coastline will opened up new reasons to head over to theN.H. seacoast to go birding. Plus getting to meet Terry Bronson, Len Medlock and Steve Mirick and finally put a face with the names that I have been reading about on the New Hampshire e-bird list was a nice opportunity for me. And the birding was great too!
Partial list and photos:
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER 20 male still showing some breading plumage
this next image is a juvenile Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover many
Greater Yellowlegs--many
Spotted Sandpiper--1
Ruddy Turnstone 6 photo bellow molting male Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling many
Dunlin 2
Semipalmated Sandpiper many
See another photo of Baird's-sandpiper by LenMedlock at:

Short-billed Dowitcher several
Bonaparte's Gull--7
Laughing Gull 2 1 adult & 1 juvenile
Ring-billed Gull many
Herring Gull many
Great Black-backed Gull many

note Lesser Black-backed gull has yellow legs while the Great black-backed has pink legs
Common Tern 1
Belted Kingfisher
American Crow 9
Barn Swallow 2
European Starling hundreds on phone wires
Cedar Waxwing 1
Bobolink 1 nice female Bobolink views were enjoyed by the whole group

NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW 1 seen by everyone but me
here's some links to Steve Mirick's photos of the Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow :

Savannah Sparrow 3 doesn't this Savannah Sparrow look mad, must have been all the rain?
Song Sparrow 5
Common Eider many
Double-crested Cormorants many
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 3

The 8 birds in caps helped put my Birding Big Year total at 251 to date. I must say that I never thought I would make it to 200, what a surprise this year is turning out to be. Anyhow, If anyone reading this is thinking about joining these folks at the New Hampshire Audubon Seacoast chapter (click link to find out more about them and their Birding Trips) for one of their Birding trips by all means do. You'll have a great time, maybe find some new birds and make a new friend or two. I know I did!

Have a safe journey

Peter Manship
Story and photos copyright Peter Manship except where noted,
those are copyright of the noted photographer

1 comment:

Amy Kane said...

Peter, these photos are beautiful. I found your blog via the NH bird list in my email this morning. I live in North Hampton, NH, a couple of miles from the coast. I hope you don't mind I linked your blog to my blog Atlantic Ave. so I can check in and enjoy the BFOs.

Now and then I include bird and other wildlife photos, like recently these gulls.