Finally – Lifer LEAST BITTERN, 7/24/16

~Excellent, excellent bird. LEAST BITTERN at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, NJ 7/24/16.~

Maria Loukeris and I got an early start and headed south to Richard W. DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, New Jersey; we were trying for the Ruff that had been reported there. We were not the only ones with that idea, as the park was absolutely loaded with birders. We met up with Marianne O., as planned, met some other birders for the first time, and also ran into Denise Farrel, who is also a hawk counter at Mount Peter Hawkwatch. Ultimately, we left and the Ruff had not been relocated. Meanwhile, we had some great birds at the park, including several LEAST BITTERNS. I was hoping when I finally got my lifer LEBI, it would not be a speck in a scope, or a fleeting glimpse of a bird, and I was not disappointed. The first one we had was only 50 feet away or so. It was in the shadows and partially hidden by phragmites reeds, but it looked absolutely incredible in the scope, and we worked hard to get some decent photos (I was not at all optimistic about these shots, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and saw them on the computer).

~These photos do not tell the truth. This bird was tough to see, even though it was not all that far away (50 feet?). Naked eye, you would lose the bird every time. It was even tough to locate in the camera view, I kept having to relocate with my binoculars or scope. Least Bittern at DeKorte Park, 7/24/16.~

DeKorte is absolutely loaded with shorebirds. There were too many Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers to count, the same goes for Lesser Yellowlegs and Short-billed Dowitchers. We also had a handful of Semipalmated Plovers and also several Greater Yellowlegs. A Peregrine Falcon came through a couple of times and lifted up all the shorebirds (I somehow missed it both times!?). Also of note was a Sora that was seen well by Marianne and others but would not re-emerge when Maria and I made our way back to where it was being seen.

I had always been intimidated to go to DeKorte; mostly because of the driving and traffic, but also because I didn’t know the lay of the land. I admit that we did get a little bit lost on the way in, but really the driving wasn’t a problem at all especially since it was early on a Sunday with little traffic. And the park is very inviting, you don’t really have to know anything going into it; just arrive an enjoy some good birding.

~Least Sandpiper close up at DeKorte Park, 7/24/16. You could spend all day just shooting shorebirds if you wanted to.
~This bird was a messy eater,  ha ha. Semipalmated Sandpiper with a face full of mud, DeKorte Park, 7/24/16.~
~This Marsh Wren was one of the first birds of the morning. It put on a nice show and allowed for some decent shots, in fact I am posting 2 because I couldn’t decide which I liked better. Richard W. DeKorte Park, 7/24/16.~
~MAWR  at DeKorte Park, 7/24/16. Cutie.~
~One final shot of another Least Bittern. This was a nice scene, too bad the bird was mostly backlit. Richard W. DeKorte Park, 7/24/16.~

6 thoughts on “Finally – Lifer LEAST BITTERN, 7/24/16”

  1. nice shots! it’s a great spot year round and popular with the Bergen County Audubon Groups for both birds, raptors and right now, butterflies. On the west of DeKorte is Disposal (raptor) Road and Harrier Meadow which only opens up a couple times/year to bird groups.

    1. Thanks Randal, I was really impressed with the park and I plan on going back. I would love to check out Disposal Road someday if the opportunity presented itself. Matt

    1. Thanks Deb! We saw a couple in flight too, which was really cool. I agree that DeKorte is super place to bird, I think this is the first of many visits. Matt

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