Stilt Sandpiper and Friends at Merritt Island NWR

Anna and I visited Merritt Island NWR late in the afternoon on May 26th. Birding was relatively slow due to the time of day and because of how few migrants are around. We were able to find 32 species along the Black Point Wildlife Drive (eBird checklist), including a few FOY species for us – Least Terns, Gull-billed Terns, White-rumped Sandpipers, and Stilt Sandpipers. We were most excited to see the Stilt Sandpipers, a species that Anna and I only see a few times per year and have only rarely seen in breeding plumage. Unfortunately, most of the shorebirds were quite distant along the wildlife drive, but on nearby Bio Lab Rd (eBird checklist) we were able to get fantastic up-close looks at a Stilt Sandpiper foraging. Below is a photo that I took of the Stilt Sandpiper along Bio Lab Rd as well as a video that Anna shot of the it foraging. Also included are photos of the Black-necked Stilt and American Coot that make cameo appearances in the video clip!

Stilt Sandpiper at Merritt Island NWR (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Black-necked Stilt at Merritt Island NWR (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

American Coot at Merritt Island NWR (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)