Their cries echoing a melancholy end to the carefree days of summer, shorebirds concentrate at a few scattered places along their migration routes to fatten themselves up and bewilder those birders foolish enough to attempt separating one species of nondescript shorebird from another species of nondescript shorebird.

Yellowlegs, thank goodness, have those telltale yellow legs.


In addition to the wealth of shorebirds, Jamaica Bay offers up-close looks at birds that are so often viewed at a great distance across the haze and shimmer of a mudflat. The difference at Jamaica Bay is that you’re standing in the midst of the birds, on the mudflat yourself… fighting for purchase among the muck as it threatens to swallow you whole or maybe just steal a shoe should you misstep…

I saw that happen to a couple people the other day… and have pics to share!


I’ve avoided ever going to Jamaica Bay, mostly because it involves driving through Staten Island**, but it was a great day and I couldn’t resist the chance to meet some other bird bloggers who were there as well. I almost think I’ve learned to ID a couple sandpipers, too. Plus there was an Avocet which makes any trip worthwhile, even one through Staten Island.

More another day.

**The Staten Island thing is a family joke, but most anyone from NJ can imagine what I mean.

11 thoughts on “Telltale”

  1. Really Steve… I’ve no clue what it is!!

    (hanging my head in shame)

    The legs are mostly yellow and it’s tallish, so I’m calling it a yellowlegs.

    So there.


  2. Looks Lesser to me. Sorry again that I missed the trip. I’ve been kicking myself. Did you notice the house that looks like a castle along the Staten Island Expressway? It’s a site to behold.

  3. Patrick: I hear they’ve renamed the Jersey Curse after you?


    You missed a fun day, but I understand your choice as it was looking pretty awful first thing in the morning.

    I missed the castle house!

    Larry: Thanks… I wonder, too, if they’ve any idea how beautiful they are.

    Corey: Yeah, I bet.


  4. Curious question by Larry. We know some birds pay attention to their reflection in windows, so why not in water?


    (And I’ve a great* story about getting lost on Staten Island while driving a truck one summer.

    * Where “great”probably means “boring to anybody but me”.)

  5. I am so glad you made the drive to Queens. I speed through Staten Island so fast I never even notice it.

    On a side note, please tell me you do not have photo of me tugging at my boot.

    It was a fun day. Are you up for Hawk Mountain in October?

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