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.