More Morningside Park, 8/15/15

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~A Least Sandpiper just after sunrise at Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~

Kyle Dudgeon and I headed to Morningside Park early this morning and arrived just as the sun was rising. We unloaded the kayaks and hit the water hoping to do well with shorebirds. It was a gorgeous morning with a little bit of cool breeze; it was supposed to be a hot day, so it was good to be out ahead of the heat. We paddled out to the small islands that form in the west end of the lake at this time each summer, which attract migrating shorebirds. On this day, unfortunately, shorebird numbers were down, we had 1 Killdeer, 5 Least Sandpipers, 2 Spotted Sandpipers, and a single Lesser Yellowlegs which made a brief appearance before moving on. Kyle and I were not deterred and we made the best of it by taking many photos of the Least Sandpipers which were very accommodating. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating – seeing the shorebirds at Morningside Park by kayak is quite a treat. You can get SO close to the birds who simply go about their business as if you were not there at all. We also paddled a good portion of the rest of the lake; we had good looks at Great Blue Herons, a couple of Green Herons, and we finally got Kyle his lifer Belted Kingfisher – he was surprised at how big they are! We got great looks at a kingfisher, unfortunately it was in poor light so no photos to share. What a great morning of birding!

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~This shot is nearly full frame, I cropped it a little bit just to improve the composition. Least Sandpiper at Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~
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~This is my favorite shot from the morning – Least Sandpiper leg and wing stretch! Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~
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~Look at the feet on this bird! Least Sandpiper at Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~
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~LESA at Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~
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~This is a cute look to me. Least Sandpiper at Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~
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~I love this shot, unfortunately the camera has focused on the bird’s right foot, making the eye/head a little soft. LESA at Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~
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~We had one lone Killdeer while we were there. I was curious to see if this bird would flush when we approached in our kayaks, but it did not. Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~
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~A rare Green Heron photo! Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~
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~A Great Blue Heron in the vegetation at Morningside Park, 8/15/15.~

4 thoughts on “More Morningside Park, 8/15/15”

  1. Spectacular Matt!
    What sensational shots of ALL the birds. Such close-up shots let us study in detail highlights of the birds that we can never pick up as they move about feeding. Thanks for constantly sharing them with all of us. Congrats to Kyle on his new “lifer”. You are a special gift to him in spending the time to help him see and learn more about the birds around us. He will always remember your kindness.

    1. I always appreciate your take on the blog and photos Ken, thanks. Kyle is a really good kid and talented too. He has been bitten hard by the birding and photography bugs and it’s been fun to see him learn over the past year. Matt

  2. These shots are some of your absolute best, Matt.

    I’ve been getting more and more convinced I need to get past the fear of the bottom of the water and get my own Kayak. I have always boated, and I miss it.
    It obviously makes for better birding!!!!

    Wilma

    1. Birding by kayak can certainly pay off, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s also a little uncomfortable for me – there’s not much room in a little kayak. I think that’s why I only do it from time to time; I prefer the freedom of walking the trails. Matt

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