Thursday, July 7, 2016

Serendipity to the 4th Power

At times of birding doldrumnity, thoughts turn to chores and other unsavory activities. That is unless one is torn away kicking and screaming by an offer to bird. Despite a vague "Do you have any ideas" I gave in to 'peering at bird' pressure at the suggestion of Phil Jabiru since no one was around to kick or scream at.

We decided to try Smith Point to begin with. Conditions were disappointing. Low visibility due to fog and haze, lack of water in the impoundment, and a general lack of birds made the heat and mugginess more difficult to ignore.

The final straw was inability to see out into the ocean, so we packed up with thoughts that Cupsogue might bear fruit. A check of the intertubes on the way to the car enforced that decision, as Brown Pelicans had been reported earlier.

We made our way there, while Phil called Matt Bicknell to find out where he was. Turns out, he was out fishing in the bay, so we planned to touch base with him when we arrived.

In the parking lot, an update came through the intertubes from Patrick Pallas Reed Bunting. A few text exchanges with him later, and the message became "I'm in the car in front of you".  Next, Pat graciously offered to drive us out the 4wd access road to where he had located the birds. We got out at the end of the road and quickly found the four birds on the sand bar in the bay, and got scope views.

We also noted that Pat was dressed to the nines. Turns out he took a 'break' from work to come see the birds. "Your honor, I request a recess." "A recess? On what grounds?"  "Brown Pelican". "Brown Pelican?!" " No your honor, four Brown Pelicans! 

Brown Pelican
We thanked Pat, and bid him adieu, while Phil looked out on the water and noticed Matt's boat on the water. Pat took off, and we headed to the shore to meet Matt. 

Matt had not seen the Pelicans yet, so we pointed him in the right direction and we went for a closer look. As we approached the south side of the bar we noted a paler Tern with a black bill. Roseate! This was a much desired bird for us all, and another good day bird. 

Matt maneuvered his boat to get us a bit closer without getting stuck in shallow water, and I was able to get a few pics with my phone; neither Phil nor I wanted to bring our cameras on the small boat. 

We cruised around a bit more, saw a Western Willet which stood out next to the others, and stopping at the marsh edges we saw quite a few Seaside Sparrows, but not a whole lot more other than usual suspects.

What a fantastically serendipitous day!

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