Sussex County STILT SANDPIPER, 9/1/16

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~STILT SANDPIPER at Wallkill River NWR, 9/1/16.~

I went out and walked the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge’s Liberty Loop trail to follow up on an eBird report of a Short-billed Dowitcher in the Sussex County portion of the trail. I relocated the SBDO, but I also was fortunate enough to find a STILT SANDPIPER. The bird was feeding most of the time I saw it, head going up and down like a sewing machine. I was feeling lazy and walked the trail without hauling my scope with me, and I really regretted it as the birds were far enough out to make IDing them with binoculars tough. The pond was loaded with shorebirds, in addition to the STSA and the SBDO I also had Least Sandpipers, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpipers, and Pectoral Sandpipers. Other highlights included a quick look at a young Black-crowned Night-Heron and a beautiful male Northern Harrier hunting over the marsh.

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~Thanks to the water droplet, you can see the length of the STSA’s bill in this shot. Wallkill River NWR, 9/1/16.~
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~I’ve included this shot to give a sense of the size of the bird, as compared to the Lesser Yellowlegs on the left and the Short-billed Dowitcher just to the right. Stilt Sandpiper at Wallkill River NWR’s Liberty Loop, 9/1/16.~

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