Shorebirds at The Crossings

The Crossings at Colonie is your basic nice town park, playground, picnic table, pavilion, ponds, lots of joggers and kids and dogs. What draws birders is a happy accident. In rainy summers, the grassy fields fill and provide a staging area for shorebirds already on their way back south.

IMG_5616

Theses Least Sandpipers waded in and out of the water, close enough to make out their yellow-green legs. Shorebirds are haaarrrrd and their field marks are generally subtle. I was lucky that these birds were pretty fearless and the light was very good today.

This Lesser Yellowlegs spooked once, giving its single ‘tew, tew’ call. If it had stayed silent it’s almost impossible (for me, anyway) to tell it from a Greater Yellowlegs which repeats its call quickly three or more times. It chillaxed on the pavement for a while.

IMG_5612Wading around with it was a Solitary Sandpiper. It was amusing to watch them bobbing side by side. Now you can see why it’s called Yellowlegs!

Solitary on left, Yellowlegs on right

Solitary on left, Yellowlegs on right

I’m amazed how well this picture of a Least Sandpiper turned out. Most of these were digiscoped with my point & shoot camera through my old spotting scope. The day’s brightness made all the difference. Not exactly frameworthy, but a good ID shot.

Y halo ther. Least Sandpiper.

Y halo ther. Least Sandpiper.

On my way home I made a quick stop at Cohoes Flats. The water level is dropping exposing more rocks. On the spillway I added five Spotted Sandpipers to my day’s total.

It’s hard to believe that for these birds, summer is over. They’ve produced their young for the year and now the long trip to points south — in some cases thousands of miles south — is beginning.

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Categories: Bird photos, Field trip | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Shorebirds at The Crossings

  1. I’m really enjoying this pleasant bird-tutorial. Linda has to start following your blog~!

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