Thursday, April 18, 2013

Evening Birding at Bolton Flats

I left home about 5:30 PM hoping for a glimpse of the Glossy Ibis that was reported today at Bolton Flats.  Well, I saw bumper-to-bumper traffic on Route 9, as well as a huge backup on Route 85.  I chose Route 9, and then took the back way via Parkerville Road over to Route 495.  Route 495 was also a traffic jam.  What the heck was going on?  As soon as I rounded the bend of the on-ramp, I saw flashing lights and soon learned that there was a ground fire on the median.  Firefighters were working on it from both sides of the highway, creating wonderful backlogs of traffic.  Lucky for me, I got on the highway right at the fire and was soon past it and on my way again.

One truck was in the parking lot at Bolton Flats, but I didn't see the owner until about 40 minutes after I arrived, when I saw a man completely decked out in camouflage coming towards me carrying a large camera and tripod.  I asked him if he could sneak up on the ducks in that outfit, but he said there was no sneaking up on them.  He said he would sit still, or get down in the mud, and sometimes have good luck with close photos that way.  Interesting.

I wished for a look at a glossy ibis, but it was not there this evening.  I saw the usual suspects:  Red-Winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, Green-Winged Teal, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson's Snipes.  Also saw 4-5 Great Blue Herons flying in a group over the river.  Then, there was the one bird that I wasn't sure of, that I hadn't seen before, and desperately tried to get a good enough photo to identify it when I got home.  I don't think I did too well in the photo department, but I do think it was good enough to ID it as a Pectoral Sandpiper.  Life bird!  An unexpected surprise!

As I was leaving, a Northern Harrier flew over the parking area!  Good outing.  Firefighting was still going on on the north side of 495 on the way home.  It's been very dry around here.  Hope we get some needed rain tomorrow!

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