Liberty Loop Back Pond, 08/23/20

The back pond at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge’s Liberty Loop has been one of the hottest birding spots in the area recently (this part of the loop is located in Sussex County, NJ for all of you concerned with which county and state the birds are located in). I spent a pleasant and productive morning there; I’m pretty sure I got all the recent good birds/rarities reported: GLOSSY IBIS (3), LITTLE BLUE HERON, SNOWY EGRET, and SANDERLING.

~GLOSSY IBIS striking a pose at Wallkill River NWR’s Liberty Loop, Sussex County NJ, 08/23/20.~

My main goal of the morning was, of course, shorebirds. Although besides the Sanderling I did not find anything else out of the ordinary, shorebirds were plentiful in number of both species and individuals:

  • Semipalmated Plover (2)
  • Killdeer (30+)
  • Sanderling
  • Least Sanpiper (10+)
  • Pectoral Sandpiper (3)
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper (4)
  • Wilson’s Snipe (3)
  • Solitary Sandpiper (3)
  • Lesser Yellowlegs (20+)
~Immature LITTLE BLUE HERON at the Liberty Loop, 08/23/20.~

I left the refuge just before 10 am, just as it was starting to get a little warm. I finished the morning with 44 species; the only target bird I missed was Least Bittern, which I’ve been getting out there on a regular basis. Nice morning of birding, and some photo ops on top of it all.

~Lesser Yellowlegs were plentiful in the back pond this morning. Liberty Loop 08/23/20.~
~Green Heron at the Liberty Loop, 08/23/20.~
~One more Glossy Ibis shot; I was pleased to have these birds in pretty close. That came to an end when a dog walker came by and flushed them. Liberty Loop, 08/23/20.~
~This Northern Harrier was keeping the shorebirds on their toes. I’m not sure what it was hunting, but the shorebirds were flushed by it several times this morning. Liberty Loop 08/23/20.~
~Semipalmated Plover in the early morning fog. Liberty Loop 08/23/20.~
~Tree Swallow from earlier this week. Black dirt 08/20/20.~

8 thoughts on “Liberty Loop Back Pond, 08/23/20”

  1. Beautiful Shots, Matt! Thanks a lot. I clicked a random archive yesterday after reading about the Cedar Waxwing fledgling and read your post about Atlantic Puffin’s, I think in July. I’d love to go on a tour like that or go on a pelagic trip. I sponsored a puffin through Project Puffin several years ago on Eastern Egg Rock Island.

    1. Thanks so much Joe. I absolutely love pelagic birding. There is a sense of adventure, mixed with the hopes of seeing something amazing, plus it’s just fabulous to be out there. You should definitely go on one – I just checked the Paulagics website, and they cancelled all spring trips due to Covid-19, but no word on upcoming winter trips. My guess is maybe next spring it will be an option. They are fun, and awesome birding. Matt

  2. WOW! Stunning Photos. We saw the Glossy Ibis last weekend and I got some shots in, but nothing like these. Thank You for your posts and great photos.

    1. Thanks Patty. I got there relatively early, so some of the birds were still close to the trail. Glad you are enjoying the blog. Matt

  3. I love the early morning light you’ve been getting these shots in. And loved the curved stripe on the full front of the heron.

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