Montezuma NWR, 05/29/21

This morning I woke up super early and took a road trip up to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. I was heading up in hopes of getting a shorebird fix and to meet up with my ex-wife Stephanie Bane who lives in the area and who volunteers at the refuge and birds it regularly. We had an excellent morning of birding, as you know Montezuma very rarely disappoints. Non shorebird highlights for me included the Purple Martins at the visitor’s center, a single Snow Goose on Wildlife Drive, and watching a Bald Eagle and a Northern Harrier tangle way up in the sky.

~A single Snow Goose at Montezuma NWR, 05/29/21.~

But, as hoped, it was the shorebirds that stole the show. Most of the birds were fairly distant, but we enjoyed excellent scope views of 10 species of shorebird:

  1. BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (25+)
  2. Semipalmated Plover (6)
  3. Killdeer (10)
  4. RUDDY TURNSTONE (7)
  5. Dunlin (35+)
  6. Least Sandpiper (15+)
  7. Semipalmataed Sandpiper (1)
  8. Short-billed Dowitcher (2)
  9. Greater Yellowlegs (2)
  10. Lesser Yellowlegs (3)
~It was awesome to see a good number of Black-bellied Plovers. We had them at two locations, on Wildlife Drive and also at the Potato Farms, 05/29/21.~

We were joking about how awesome it would be to see RUDDY TURNSTONES, and then moments later I was looking at 7 of them in the scope! The flock of Dunlin were beautiful to see and were putting on quite a show, making frequent flights from muddy island to muddy island. We had a handful of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS on Wildlife Drive, but also were pleasantly surprised to find another 30 or so at the Potato Fields, our last stop of the morning. It was a tough morning for photos, with very few ops, but the good company and the shorebird fix more than made up for that.

~Four Ruddy Turnstones and a Short-billed Dowitcher at Montezuma NWR, 05/29/21.~

2 thoughts on “Montezuma NWR, 05/29/21”

  1. Hey Matt,
    Always a good place for me.
    I am in Rehoboth Beach Delaware now. Just hit the Dupont Nature Center on Wednesday. Full moon and the horse shoe crab spawning.
    Shore birds galore.
    You should put it on your bucket list. All the best.
    Peter

    1. Peter, consider it on the list. I’ve been to Rehoboth before, back in June of 2014 to visit my Aunt, but I want to go this time of year when migration is on. Matt

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