Fledgling Shorebirds

by John Briggs on July 29, 2007

in Blog, Weekend Birding

Hazy, hot and humid. This basically sums up the week here in southern [tag]Maine[/tag]. When I say hot, it was by Maine standards. Temps reached a high of 88 F. along coastal locations and climbed to the lower 90’s inland. Dew points were in the 70’s.

This morning,  dense fog greeted us as we headed to [tag]Goose Rocks Beach[/tag]. Visibility was less than 100 feet, and the putrid smell of low tide hung in the air. We did not give up however, the fog dissipated quickly as the sun rose above the horizon.

My wife and I, along with fellow birder Bob Malbon, did some [tag]bird watching[/tag] on the mud flats near the back side of the beach. Quite a few fledgling [tag]shorebirds[/tag] were learning the tricks of the trade from the adults birds.

We watched fledgling Piping Plovers feed with the adults, running short distances, then stopping, probing the sand with their stubby bills. At times, the plovers would patter a foot on the surface of the sand, causing any food just under the surface to come up for them to devour.

A single least Tern fledgling was also present on the flats. It was interesting to watch, what looked like to me, adults trying to wean the fledgling. A fish was brought to the young Tern, and when it opened its mouth to take the fish, the adult would pull it away. Most of the adult Least Terns in the area participated in this ritual. At times, the fledgling would take off and fly after the adults, squawking and squealing the whole time.

Saturday morning, my wife and I saw a lone Hudsonian Godwit, along with fledgling Willets and Lesser Yellowlegs. Several flights of Snowy and Great Egrets flew overhead. We watched a Glossy Ibis feed on the mud flats, and then take flight when another called from overhead. Probably the wife wondering where he was at.

We had a good weekend of bird watching. Enjoy the [tag]photos[/tag] we took and as always, comments and criticisms are greatly appreciated.

The very last photo below has us stumped. Can you identify this [tag]bird[/tag]?

Bonaparte Gull - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Bonaparte Gull - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Eastern Phoebe - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Fledgling and adult Least Terns - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Fledgling Least Tern - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Fledgling Least Tern - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Fledgling Least Tern - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Fledgling Least Tern - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Fledgling Least Tern - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Fledgling Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Fledgling Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Fledgling Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Fledgling Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Fledgling Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Blah - Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Plover with one leg - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Dragonfly - 12 Spotted Skimmer - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Unknown - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!

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