Sunday, August 26, 2012

Irondequoit Bay • August 26

Lesser Yellowlegs. The mud flat at the southern tip of Irondequoit Bay has formed for the season and is a magnet for migrating shore birds. Though observable from the shore, being seated in a nearby kayak allows you remarkable access to eye level perspectives of these birds. 

Lesser Yellowlegs. You can literally ground your kayak on the mudflat and the birds will not care in the least if you make no sudden movements. Today I chose not to approach that closely and to stay afloat instead.

Killdeer. The killdeers were a bit more skittish than the yellowlegs today.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Looking at all my field guides, it appears this yellowlegs (if not all the ones pictured here) is a juvenile.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Double-crested Cormorants. There were hundreds of cormorants roosting and milling around the bay today.

Great Blue Heron. Well, I hope the person who owns the boat that this bird is perching on doesn't mind heron poop.

Double-crested Cormorant. Note the leg band. I did some searching on the web and this bird may have been banded as part of a Cornell Oneida Lake project from 2001-2004. I have contacted the project leader with all the details. We'll see if I hear back and if they are still tracking these birds 10+ years on.

Double-crested Cormorant. These birds were making their deep guttural grunts or croaks at the roost site. I found it vaguely intimidating for some reason. Maybe I felt with hundreds of these birds perched overhead I was too vulnerable to a High Anxiety style attack. (See the Mel Brooks movie.)

Double-crested Cormorant. Again, in a kayak you seem to present a profile that the bird do not find threatening, so you can approach quite closely without upsetting anyone.

Double-crested Cormorant. It is easy to see here how their webbed feet have no problem wrapping around a branch.

Double-crested Cormorant 

Belted Kingfisher. The kingfishers were all about and being kingfishers: calling alarms all up and down the shore of the bay and being nervous about my proximity.

Great Egrets. These are one of my favorite water birds to migrate through our area in the fall.

Great Egret. No, I couldn't (and probably shouldn't) get as close to the egret as I could the yellowlegs. What a pity! :-)