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Saturday, March 31, 2012

RISD Beach, Barrington, RI - Mar/30/12 - 1:25 - 2:15pm

This is just a quick post to share some of the early migrants I saw yesterday at RISD Beach. 
With clear skies, clad in shorts and a sweatshirt to cope with the not too warm, not too cold temperature, we were ready for anything feathered. We found 24 species in total. For those who don't know, 24 divided by 24 is 1 which is the exact number of egret species we saw today. The egret species was none other then RISD Beach's first of the year Great Egret, all the other egret species being rare this early in the season. The Great Egrets have only just arrived from their more southerly wintering quarters.

Perhaps the most fascinating scene of the walk came in the very beginning as we strolled down the grassy slope which leads to the beach. Robins and starlings covered the grass, fleeing at the slightest hint of a threat. The two Killdeers however did not and I was able to get within 12 feet of the two plovers. I was the last one to walk past them and stopping to snap a few photos I was fascinated to see one of the Killdeer hop up onto the other's back and stand there for a few moments.
They did not mate, probably not appreciating the camera aimed threateningly at them.

In the marsh there were a few Mallards and American Black Ducks, the before mentioned Great Egret and two Killdeer and Greater Yellowlegs. On our trip down the beach the birds were spread out throught the marsh, but as we waddled back towards the car the birds began to congregate. Egret, yellowlegs and ducks were, at the end of the walk, no more then a dozen feet apart. This was great for my photographic purposes and all the below photos except for the picture of the Osprey, the Killdeer and the Great Egret (which was photographed as it deserted the rest of the group) were taken of birds in that group.  

The bay was fairly calm although there were a couple of large Brant Flocks and a displaying group of Red-breasted Mergansers.

Today's one and only Great Egret.
This bird was very restless and flew at the slightest stinking whiff of danger.

An Osprey

One of the two Killdeer in the meadow.

Wings waving a Mallard readies itself for impact.

A splash landing.

One of the two yellowlegs seen in my beloved marsh. (I plan to live in that marsh someday.)

Here is a list of all birds seen:
Brant 60
Mallard 5
American Black Duck 3
Red-breasted Merganser 16
Osprey 1
Great Egret 1
Killdeer 4
Greater Yellowlegs 2
Ring-billed Gull 1
Herring Gull 30
Mourning Dove 2
Tree Swallow 2
American Crow 5
Carolina Wren 1
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
American Robin 33
European Starling 26
Song Sparrow 5
Northern Cardinal 1
House Finch 3
Red-winged Blackbird 3
Common Grackle 6
House Sparrow 4

1 comment:

  1. Cool post, John. Love the photo of the egret. Can you do me a favor, by any chance? I found a warbler in my yard that has me scratching my head. I can't figure out what it is. I need help really bad. Please go to my blog,, and click on the page "Bird ID Help Please". I need as much help as I can get, so I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

    ~Katie Boord