Maria Loukeris, Linda Scrima, and I birded Richard W. DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, New Jersey this morning. It was good birding and we had 32 birds, all the expected species for this time of year. I was happy, since I got a decent shorebird fix, with Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Short-billed Dowitchers all present.
In some regards, we were a little unlucky. We missed the American White Pelican when we first arrived by a mere 1o minutes. And, we missed the Least Terns that were reported after we had left. But, really, we were the lucky ones. We followed up on a tip that another birder (sorry we never got her name) gave to Linda, that there was a LEAST BITTERN near one of the blinds on the boardwalk. I was not optimistic – this is a Least Bittern after all, how long is it going to be out in the open? And would we even find it in the first place? And surely if we did it would be super distant. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The bird was present, and it was just a few feet off of the boardwalk and happily feeding on what appeared to be a healthy supply of small fish. We took many photos and other birders and walkers came and went and the LEBI continued to hunt. After a good while, the bird must have been content and it slowly turned and made its way into the reeds. What an incredible experience! I really just couldn’t believe it; I can still hardly believe it. Excellent birding!