Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

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  Sturgeon Point Shorebirds - Finally

Published: September 10, 2020
Tags: Migration, ruddy turnstone, black-bellied plover, sanderling

For years, I've been hoping to find some shorebirds at a favorite birding location of mine, Sturgeon Point.  It has always seemed to me like this marina should be a good spot for migrating shorebirds to stop and rest during their long journeys, but to date, I've not found a one - well, until today - this foggy day...

But a little background first:  the marina's greatest issue has been the relentless lake currents that dump huge amounts of sand right into the mouth of the marina.  It's a large task for them to bring in heavy equipment and dig that sand out so boats can get into and out of the marina to the lake.  But this year, due to COVID-19 and safety restrictions, the boaters and maintenance staff don't have the funds to fight Lake Erie's persistent barrage of sand.  Subsequently, to this birder's delight, a lovely little sandbar has formed that looks just soooo perfect for shorebirds to drop into!

And today, as I once again wistfully scanned the sandbar, I saw the head of a shorebird pop into view just beyond a little dip in the sand by the lake's edge.  It was a Black-bellied Plover!  I watched this bird for a very long time in my scope, in my bins, and without any aid as it walked back and forth on the little sandbar.  I was mesmerized and delighted.  As a matter of fact, I was so enthralled with this one, little shorebird that I nearly missed the Sanderlings running along the water's edge!  They blended in so perfectly, I nearly missed them.  There were eight of them and I spent many more minutes just watching these energetic little guys scurry along the shoreline chasing the waves.  As they ventured further along the beach, I put my scope on them and soon saw some orange legs among them.  What?  Two Ruddy Turnstones came into view!

It was a thrilling morning for me and, although I know it's pie in the sky, I'm hopeful the marina stays just the way it is!

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Black-bellied Plover

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Another view of the plover

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One of the cute, little Sanderlings

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What a treat to see a Ruddy Turnstone here!

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And there were TWO turnstones!

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A poor shot of a Common Loon flying overhead - maybe confused by the fog



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