Okay...a bit overstating the title as no...no real gems but, none the less they were good finds. I have been out of the country/state for the past 2 months so I had a good old fashioned hankering to visit Forsythe. I saw there were a few birds doing their 'fly-bys'...so thought I could see a few. In particular, the American Golden Plover and the Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
I have seen the Pacific Plover in Maui....seen the Pectoral Plover someplace here on the East coast, but those two eluded me, especially since I took out after the Plover in spring time and came back empty -eyed.
At the AAS board meeting the other day....Diane informed me she had seen 6-7 Golden Plovers near the tower, in the grass....on the upside of the drive. Robin said she saw the same Plovers (different day) just past the dogleg, so I figured I had a few chances to see em.
So on I went...the clouds were brewing up over Atlantic City and I knew I wasn't going to get in my full 2 hours or so as I usually require when doing the loopy drive before the rain settled in. There were a few cars on the drive, biding their time.....but I managed to skirt around a red truck and although it was low tide, I didn't get much of a chance to see any bird (except a crow) until way into the drive. First up, the grassy area (not a knoll) where I could possibly set up my shots. I saw dowitchers, yellow-legs (lessor or greater, not sure)....but no Goldens or Buff-breasted. Being a bit disappointed as I thought I could pick the Sandpiper up fairly quickly, I moved on. A drop or two hit the windshield, so I knew I had to move on. The middle leg of the drive was a pass by.
On I went as I approached the infamous dogleg... at first glance...nothing. But wait.... on the left side of that large pine in the dogleg, there were two mighty suspicious looking individuals. Short...and yes, buffy...hmmmm ...Pulled the scope and yes, they had yellow legs but not in Yellow Leggish height. All right....I am on to something. There was a Yellowlegs right near and the difference in size was very apparent. So yes...this was it. Buff=breasted Sandpipers, two of them...in view.
They got a bit jittery and flew in back of the pine. I followed and grabbed the scope and went up the road 50 yards or so , getting a view of the water and grass. There they were...just poking around, almost hidden from site but surely gems in the grass. And low and behold guess what? Two American Golden Plovers down aways. Ooooo lala I exclaimed, oo la la.
About that time, a few cars came careening around the bend and spooked the birds, but they just flew down aways on the left hand side of the dogwood. So, I hopped into the car and backlogged it, parked on the side...pulled out the scope and had some pleasant views of my two finds, my gems.
Now....just today, as I write this blog...I see where Charlie, Roz and Kris were doing the weekly duck count and came up 'missing' these two gems. Well, I can see why. The rain started coming down just after I left, and these gems were a bit hidden anyhow as they preferred the confines behind the pine in the dogleg. But fine with me....How many times have I gone out to 'seek' and yet 'not found'. So it was about time the gems in the grass allowed me to find them. Oh....the American Golden Plover was a lifer for me, but the Buff-breasted was just a New Jersey lifer...not bad though. Great day.