Six Species of Shorebirds at BESP

This morning, I made a very quick run out to Bald Eagle State Park to see if any interesting birds were put down by the storm at the swimming beach. As soon as I pulled up to the beach parking area, I saw some Caspian Terns loafing with a few gulls. The Caspian Tern group contained 2 adults, 1 juvenile, and 1 subadult bird. The banded bird from yesterday was not there, and so I think this was probably a different gang of terns. There were shorebirds running all over the beach, so I was pretty excited to scan through them, even though it was raining unbelievably hard. The first shorebird I noticed was obvious to identify, even without binos due to it’s distinct  plumage pattern and size; a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper. This was a new Centre County year bird for me! There were also 3 adult and 1 juvenile Semipalmated Sandpipers, 7 juvenile Sanderlings, 2 Spotted Sandpipers, 2 Killdeer, and 1 juvenile Least Sandpiper. This made for the largest and most diverse collection of shorebirds I have seen so far this fall in Centre County! Here is a link to the full checklist for today.

Pectoral Sandpiper - juvenile

Semipalmated Sandpiper - adult

Caspian Terns - non-breeding plumaged adult on left and breeding plumaged adult on right

Juvenile Sanderling (left) and a juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper in a standoff