Shorebirds at Goose Rocks Beach

by John Briggs on July 22, 2007

in Blog, Weekend Birding

Fall migration is underway as the [tag]shorebird[/tag] numbers continue to rise at area beaches, marshes and mud flats.

[tag]Goose Rocks Beach[/tag] is no exception. My wife and I spent several hours at the beach Saturday morning, and Sunday morning, Bob Malbon and I sat on the rocks and filled several compact flash cards while photographing the shorebird activity.

Species recorded at GRB:

  • Piping Plovers
  • Least Terns
  • Common Terns
  • Roseate Tern
  • Great Egrets
  • Snowy Egrets
  • Great Blue Herons
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Lesser Yellowlegs
  • Semipalmated Plovers
  • Semipalmated Sandpipers
  • White Rumped Sandpipers
  • Eastern Willets
  • Spotted Sandpipers
  • Short-Billed Dowitchers
  • Long-Billed Dowitchers
  • Double-Crested Cormorants
  • Common Eiders
  • Stilt Sandpiper
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Barn Swallows
  • Cliff Swallows
  • Tree Swallows

Not every species listed was photographed. We did, however, gets [tag]photos[/tag] of most of them. Watching the behavior was very rewarding. Everything from adults feeding the young, to fights breaking out over a morsel of food, or territorial issues.

As the tide fell, the mud flats became the focus point. Hundreds of “peeps” were feeding, many were airborne, and others wading in the shallow waters. Terns hovered and then dove into the water, taking with them a small fish to satisfy their hunger. Snowy and Great Egrets could be heard squabbling just over the dune from where we sat.  An adult Short-Billed Dowitcher brought five of its young to the mud flats to feed. It was by far one of the best [tag]birding[/tag] days so far this summer!

 Enjoy the photos that I have included below, and as always, comments and criticisms are always welcomed.

Tree Swallows - Adult feeding fledgling - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Tree Swallows - Adult feeding fledgling - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Fledgling Tree Swallow - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Fledgling Tree Swallow - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Great Egret - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Greater Yellowlegs - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Semipalmated Sandpiper - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Least Tern in flight - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Lesser Yellowlegs - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Sandpiper - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. White Rumped Sandpiper - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
White Rumped Sandpiper - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Sandpiper flight - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Sandpiper flight - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Semipalmated Sandpiper flight - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Rear View: Semipalmated Sandpiper - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Sandpipers - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Semipalmated Sandpipers - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Sandpiper pair - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Piping Plover flight - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Semipalmated Plover  - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Plover  - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Plover  - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Semipalmated Plover flight - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Snowy Egret flight  - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Spotted Sandpiper - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.

For those of you looking for the “[tag]Maine Birds[/tag]” series, it will now begin the week of July 23rd, 2007. I was too busy birding this weekend to begin as promised, but it will be here this week.

Happy birding!

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