On Saturday, August 15th, Mark and I led 19 birders, all clad in Hawaiian shirt and leis, on a Hawaiian Shirt Shorebird Safari for the Brookline Bird Club. We met the group at Morris Island at 8:30 AM, exchanged greetings, selected the perfect leis to match Hawaiian shirts, and then we were off! Rip Ryder whisked us to the southern end of South Beach in one of their high-speed, 20 passenger ferryboats. We got to the southern end of South Beach by 9 AM and debarked with anticipation of a great day.
Mark and Susan were one of the first to get off of the boat!
Bev, Pamela, Constance, Dave, Jim, Chuck, and Brian were not far behind.
I love the bright, loud, colorful, Hawaiian shirts!
We had decent weather with temperatures in the low-to-mid 80's, little-to-moderate winds, a lot of fog during the morning, and sunshine for the rest of the day. The greenheads were bothersome if you did not have long pants on or ample amounts of bug spray. As we birded our way north, we noticed the low numbers of individuals. There were times when the beach was devoid of any shorebirds and when we saw shorebirds, they were not in the numbers that I have seen in past years! Maybe we were just there on an off day.
Christopher is getting ready to photograph something. Check out his Blog to see what!
The group takes a "birding" lunch break.
Kelly took this great photo of the group from the beach - Thanks Kelly!
We arrived back on the mainland by 4:00 PM and went to Orleans to go to the Bird Watcher's General Store to browse around and The Hot Chocolate Sparrow for ice cream and cold drinks. Not wanting the day to end just yet – a few of us went for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant where we compiled the day list and shared a few good laughs! We tallied 51 species - following is our trip list:
South Beach:Wilson's Storm-Petrel – 10
Northern Gannet – 4 / Double-crested Cormorant – 350
Great Egret – 1 / Snowy Egret – 10,
Black Scoter – 1
Black-bellied Plover – 275 / Semipalmated Plover – 300 / Piping Plover – 17
American Oystercatcher – 12
Greater Yellowlegs – 20 / Lesser Yellowlegs – 1
Willet – 24 / Whimbrel – 30
Hudsonian Godwit – 45 / Marbled Godwit – 3
Ruddy Turnstone – 150 / Red Knot – 23 / Sanderling – 450
Semipalmated Sandpiper – 60 / Least Sandpiper – 14 / White-rumped Sandpiper – 4
Short-billed Dowitcher – 104
Laughing Gull – 47 / Ring-billed Gull – 20 / Herring Gull – 100 / Great Black-backed Gull – 80
Roseate Tern – 20 / Common Tern – 1,000 / Forester’s Tern – 4 / Least Tern – 4
Horned Lark – 1
Tree Swallow – 10 / Barn Swallow – 9,
Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow – 1
Osprey – 1 / Northern Harrier – 1
Northern Bobwhite – 1 heard halfway between Morris Island and the Chatham Lighthouse
Mourning Dove – 62 / Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1
Blue Jay – 2 / American crow – 10 / Black-capped Chickadee – 8
American Robin – 3 / Northern Mockingbird – 5 / European starling – 150
Cedar Waxwing – 2 / Song Sparrow – 2 / Red-winged Blackbird – 1 / American Goldfinch - 15
Many thanks to our fellow Shorebird Safarians - you made it a great day! Aloha!